Founding of RTT
In 2007, Drs. Beard and Canfield formed Robotic Technologies of Tennessee (RTT). RTT is a Cookeville, Tennessee based Limited Liability Corporation. The Company was created to develop and commercialize a new class of mobile, climbing robot. To help support this dream Dr’s. Beard and Canfield brought in Mr. Steve Glovsky, a commercialization expert.
RTT’s first major project involved supporting the Edison Welding Institute (EWI). EWI was interested in the tractor platform to show that certain welding processes were more productive than others. In the process, they also demonstrated that an automated, mobile welding platform could replace manual and track based systems. Applied specifically to building DDG-1000’s, on an extraordinarily narrow set of weld types, EWI estimated a 2.8 to 1 return on investment.
RTT leveraged the opportunity with EWI into additional grants from the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the National Shipbuilding Research Program (NSRP). These funds allowed RTT to address challenges in tractor navigation, manufacturing tools, task specific challenges, expanding addressable weld types, user interface options, reliability, seam tracking, motion control, sensor options and servo options.