Labrador Systems announced it has been awarded a $25,000 grant from the Engelberger Foundation for its pioneering work on a new generation of assistive robots. In the big picture, the grant is not a large amount of money, but the real gold here is that Labrador is the first-ever recipient of the Engelberger Foundation grant due to its groundbreaking efforts to address significant needs among the aging population.
“I was so excited to see how Labrador has created a robot that can finally ‘fetch and carry’ effectively. In all the research I did while visiting client homes, this was the biggest need. Patients would surround themselves with all the things they would need until their next visit from a caretaker, only to be frustrated after forgetting something in another room which they could not access for the rest of the day,” said Gay Engelberger, daughter of Joseph Engelberger and board member of the Engelberger Foundation. “Mike and his team are really on to something and we hope this grant helps them continue their progress. Their development of a tray/pallet system is intriguing and quite unique in the home environment, as is their pricing model. I will certainly be watching closely.”
The grant was created to recognize companies who have made significant progress in the development of service robots. Founded in 2017, Labrador has conducted extensive research with seniors including placing its pilot robots in homes beginning in 2021.
“Joseph Engelberger’s work set the foundation for our development of the Labrador Retriever, so to be the first recipient of this grant is a huge honor in recognition of our efforts to create a robot that can make a meaningful difference in people’s daily lives,” said Mike Dooley. “By taking a human-centric approach, we’re focused on providing individuals with an easy-to-use tool that can adapt to very complex environments. This is a massively underserved population and we’re confident the Retriever can help provide greater independence for millions of individuals.”
The grant will be awarded during a special ceremony Wednesday evening, June 8 at the Automate show in Detroit, MI.
Labrador Systems was honored with a 2022 RBR50 award for the innovation of autonomous tray carrying in a service robot.