EnterpriseWorks startup AE Machines received the Product Design of the Year Award at the inaugural Fourth Revolution Awards this week. The event, held in Chicago and organized by mHUB, IMEC and UI LABS, recognized regional manufacturing for its leadership and innovation.
The Product Design of the Year Award “recognizes a product design that is unique, improves user experience, and impacts productivity as well as the greater good.”
Winner: AE Machines empowers small manufacturers to program and reprogram simple automated systems in-house. The program allows users to design their own automated system by building from either the software side or the hardware side of the program.
“We’ve spent the past two years working with hobbyists and everyday users to figure out how to transition university robotics research into an automation system that anyone can operate and maintain without specialized training; the result of that process is the AE Design Tool. This award will help us achieve our next goal, which is to bring our approach to manufacturers in the region who want flexible automation cells that their existing workforce can maintain,” said Amy LaViers, Co-founder and CTO of AE Machines.
LaViers is an assistant professor of mechanical engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She and co-founder Eric Minnick have touched various areas of the University of Illinois entrepreneurial ecosytem, including receiving an AWARE Proof of Concept grant; utilizing SBIR technical assistance and entrepreneur-in-residence providers; and launching their company at the EnterpriseWorks technology incubator at Research Park.
Congratulations AE Machines!