Gestural notions of the future complete the 10K All-Terrain RISE™ Forklift vehicle design. (Graphic: Business Wire)

The company will use the proceeds of a 1.25 million Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase II Award to design the machine

 May 24, 2022

SOMERVILLE, Mass.—RISE™ Robotics was awarded a $1.25 Million Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase II Award by AFVentures, the commercial investment group of the United States Air Force (USAF), to design an ultra-light loading machine for the USAF.

RISE Robotics is seeking to make zero-emission heavy machinery a reality by providing the most efficient and productive alternative to hydraulics. The company’s technology is designed for medium- and heavy-duty applications and is said to provide reductions in fuel, emissions, and sound. It is also said to improve productivity and extend machine life.

RISE Robotics will design an Ultra-Light 10K Loader enabled by RISE™ Technology. The loader concept design will be capable of swift and safe manipulation of standard 463L cargo pallets in austere landing fields. It will also be a fraction of the weight of the legacy diesel-over-hydraulic 10K AT Forklift, according to a release from RISE Robotics.

RISE Robotics said in the release that adversarial advances in combat capabilities have prompted the U.S. Air Force to pursue a strategy focused on launching, recovering, and maintaining aircraft from dispersed forward operating locations. Rather than relying on large overseas bases to project international power, agile combat employment (ACE) leverages networks of austere air bases, multi-capable airmen, pre-positioned equipment, and airlifts to rapidly deploy, disperse, and maneuver combat capability throughout a theater.

To be successful, the US Air Force must deploy reliable, low maintenance, and functional support equipment to operate effectively.

“Unloading and loading heavy cargo pallets from austere landing fields will be done with RISE™’s lighter weight equipment that reduces transportation fuel usage,” said RISE Robotics CEO Arron Acosta, in the release. “Today, commercial articulated wheel loaders with large off-road tires do the job well, but reducing fuel consumption is a new challenge best solved by RISE™.”

RISE Robotics’ zero emission machines incorporate the patented RISE™ Cylinder, a fluid-free, electromechanical alternative to hydraulic cylinders for heavy equipment and machinery that addresses the battery-electrification problems inherent in hydraulic systems. It is reported to deliver hydraulic-like forces at unprecedented efficiency, precision, speed, and weight. The RISE Cylinder uses up to 90 percent less energy than hydraulic cylinders, the company said.

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