2018 NASA iTech Cycle III








2018 NASA iTech Cycle III







2018 NASA iTech Cycle III

Top 25 Semifinalists Announced

The top 25 semifinalists for the 2018 NASA iTech Cycle III (in alphabetical order) are:

  1. ActivArmor LLC – Pueblo, Colorado

    A 3D printed waterproof, breathable and hygienic alternative to traditional plaster casts and splints that allows for increased customization.

  2. Analytical Space – Cambridge, Massachusetts

    Data relay network solution to dramatically expand the utilization of Earth observation technology and provide satellites with more opportunities to downlink data.

  3. Apptronik, Inc. – Austin, Texas

    Versatile human-like robotic platform capable of performing a variety of critical tasks for future crewed and uncrewed exploration missions.

  4. Aptage – Austin, Texas

    A novel approach to project management that enables measuring and updating project uncertainty to quantitatively represent the risk of missing cost and schedule targets.

  5. Artimus Robotics – Boulder, Colorado (Winner of the NASA iTech Ignite the Night event in Denver)

    Robots and machines, made utilizing unique materials for electromechanical actuators, to improve productivity and enhance quality of life.

  6. Cemvita Factory, Inc. – Houston

    Bionic plant module that mimics the complete photosynthesis process and offers onsite, in-situ manufacturing of essential life support elements.

  7. Cognitive Space – Manvel, Texas

    A software framework that can be maintained, improved, diagnosed and reconfigured easily to allow for autonomous satellite operations.

  8. Danish Aerospace Company North America – Houston

    A water purification technology that removes biological and chemical activity using a passive membrane.   

  9. DataMi, LLC – Denver (Winner of the NASA iTech Ignite the Night event in Houston)

    Analytic techniques to automate and predict large data sets.

  10. Delfin – Houston

    A virtual advisor built from natural language processing algorithms.

  11. Devali, Inc. – Cedar Park, Texas

    Biometric analysis socks with user interfaces to track, monitor and study various body measurements.

  12. Exostretch - University of Houston – Houston

    Flexible and stretchable lithium ion batteries.

  13. International Game Technology PLC – Reno, Nevada

    A rover that can reconfigure using artificial intelligence software and onboard 3D printing.

  14. Ion Power Group, LLC – Navarre, Florida

    Nanotechnology capable of producing clean, high-voltage electricity during the day and night.

  15. Lazarus 3D – Houston

    Space medicine training and research models made with 3D printed materials.

  16. Matroid, Inc. – Palo Alto, California

    Computer vision software product focused on detecting faces and objects in video and image libraries.

  17. New Dominion Enterprises, Inc. – San Antonio, Texas

    Safer and longer lasting lithium ion batteries that resist heat-related power loss.

  18. NSEP Technology, Inc. (NTI) – Alexandria, Virginia

    Nano-structured propellants capable of enabling superior launch systems.

  19. Olympus Advanced Technologies, LLC – Erie, Pennsylvania

    A precise frequency control and timing solution for small satellites to advance payloads, subsystems and mission operations.

  20. One Milo, Inc. – Miami

    Compact devices that enable rapid diagnostic testing – using samples of blood, urine or saliva – and wirelessly send results to a smartphone application.

  21. PharmaJet, Inc. – Golden, Colorado

    A portable and handheld needle-free injection technology.

  22. Spectrabotics LLC – Colorado Springs, Colorado

    An artificial intelligence toolset for spectral image processing.

  23. SUNY University at Buffalo – Buffalo, New York

    An advanced manufacturing process to create a silica-carbon aerogel with a smaller pore size, enhanced durability and increased infrared radiation absorption.  

  24. The Matrixx Power Suit Company, LLC – Astoria, New York

    An exercise training suit designed to improve physical performance in the areas of strength, speed, endurance, rehabilitation, weight loss and general health maintenance.

  25. Tinman Kinetics – Littleton, Colorado

    Semantic language technology that could be used to address the psychological challenges and complexities of distance, time and isolation in space.

A panel of subject-matter experts from NASA will further review the top 25 Cycle III semifinalist selections based on their relevance, likelihood of success and potential positive impact on space exploration and life on Earth.

The top 10 finalists for Cycle III will be announced no earlier than Oct. 1, 2018. These 10 finalists will be invited to present their ideas to NASA leadership, space industry leaders and potential investors at the NASA iTech Cycle III Forum to be held in Hartford, Connecticut, on Oct. 25-26, 2018.

Challenge Focus Areas

  • Big Data & Data Mining

  • Artificial Intelligence & Autonomous Robotic Capabilities

  • Revolutionary Concepts for Communications

  • Medical Breakthroughs

  • X-Factor Innovations

Detailed descriptions of each Focus Area can be found at https://nasaitech.com/2018-cycle-iii-focus-areas


Cycle III Timeline.JPG

2018 Cycle III Focus Areas

2018 Cycle III Challenge Focus Areas

2018 Cycle III Focus Areas

2018 Cycle III Challenge Focus Areas

The five challenge focus areas for NASA iTech Cycle III are:

Big Data & Data Mining

Larger and larger data sets require new approaches to turning data into information.  This is true across industries and particularly acute in the space industry where satellites routinely supply Petabytes of data that must be analyzed.  The reverse of this problem is also true, If you know how to teach machines to make the best decisions with sparse data, such as a moon of Saturn where we might not have thought of everything to pre-program into a rover…In either case, we want to hear from you.

Artificial Intelligence & Autonomous Robotic Capabilities

There are many challenges for future space exploration and having robots with artificial intelligence & autonomous capabilities will be essential for future success when operating in an unfamiliar environment, with few examples to have learned from, and tech support literally millions of miles away.  Some of these needs for exploration include (but are not limited to) extraction of materials, hauling, autonomous construction and assembly, or robots that can operate from fault to recovery autonomously due to distances from Earth, or robots with the ability to make decisions like a scientist even when they are in an unknown world.  All of these use cases and more, will require advancements in artificial intelligence and autonomy that have yet to be developed for robots. But if this is something you are working on we would love to hear from you.

Revolutionary Concepts for Communications

Quantum communications is a technology that uses the phenomena of entangled photons to achieve secure, high data rate and long-range communications across space. Although quantum communication technology has not yet been demonstrated at a scale suitable for NASA missions, you may be working on this or a competing technology that can help NASA reduce the reliance on large antennas, broadcast power, and line of sight. If so, we hope to hear from you. 

Medical Breakthroughs

Are you working on new approaches that will revolutionize human health and healthcare? Examples include, but are not limited to, lab analysis technologies, flexible ultrasound technologies, in-situ production capabilities for medicine or food, and technologies that can extend the life of medicine and/or food, hit us with your best shot!

X-Factor Innovations

You have something–you know you do–something so cool something so revolutionary that we didn't even know to ask for it, "but NASA has got to know!”  If that’s your response, and your innovation doesn't fit with another Cycle III category, this is the category for you!











NASA iTech is a unique initiative to find innovative ideas that address critical problems here on Earth that also hold great potential to solve critical technology challenges in future space exploration.

Those ideas may come from small or large businesses, academia, other government organizations – or others who may not have previously had a forum to present their solutions to NASA leadership or their industry partners.

During the first three cycles of the initiative, finalists from across the U.S. have represented 30 of their most promising innovative technologies at NASA iTech Forums.



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