Softwear Automation, Inc.

Industry: Robotic sewing machines

Softwear Automation has developed a platform for automating textile manufacturing with greater sophistication and precision than ever before. The company’s sewing technology is the first to rival human workers for competence and precision in aligning fabrics and sewing a straight seam.  
 
The key to the company’s technology is an advance in machine vision, based on high-speed photography that captures up to 1,000 frames per second. The machine automatically edits the images to increase contrast, then counts individual threads to calculate fabric positioning. This artificial intelligence framework is combined with a robotic system that uses vacuum suction to position fabric.
 
The U.S. imports $100 billion in textiles annually. Softwear’s “sewbots,” patented in 2012, could encourage more American manufacturing by minimizing labor costs – and create more desirable jobs by putting human workers in the roles of managers and technicians. The Department of Defense, which has an institutional mandate to buy American-made uniforms where possible, has awarded the company $1.25 million in research grants. 

Company website: Softwear Automation, Inc.

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