Working with the CATS

Our Program

Founded in 1988, the Center for Automation Technologies and Systems (CATS) has a long history of working with industry in programs encompassing basic research through manufacturing system design and pilot line development.  Our unique combination of leading research, excellence in theory and analysis, practical design and process implementation has paid off for numerous industrial partners.

CATS provides an effective interface to leverage a broad range of research resources in automation at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, with highly trained technical staff to provide project management that matches industrial requirements and schedules.   In addition, the Center also recognizes the importance of intellectual property agreements in research programs and endeavors to craft appropriate arrangements to suit the needs of its sponsors.

How Companies Work with the CATS

Rensselaer CATS helps companies solve their real-world manufacturing-related problems by developing system-level solutions across several key application areas, including: robotics and industrial automation, mechatronics, thermal management, fuel cell engineering and manufacturing and advanced composites engineering. The CATS’ multidisciplinary foundations in advanced manufacturing science, sensing and control, machine vision, and modeling and simulation anchor researchers’ end-to-end approach.

Companies can engage Rensselaer CATS for:

  • Technical consultation, feasibility studies, exploratory research, etc.;
  • Collaborative research for process improvement or product development with professional project management;
  • Proof of Principle Modeling (POPM), prototype development and demonstration;
  • Identification of Rensselaer faculty and organizations and/or external partners best matched with company needs;

 and can fund research projects with the CATS through:

  • Joint proposals to New York State funding agencies (e.g., NYSERDA);
  • Joint proposals to Federal funding agencies (e.g., NSF, DOE, DARPA, ONR, NIST, DOT, NIH, and Homeland Security, or through SBIR/STTR or BAA funding); or,
  • Sponsored research, where the CATS works on company-funded projects when grants are not available, needed or desired.

Rensselaer CATS works with companies to propose research grants to all Federal funding agencies, including: NSF, DOE, DARPA, ONR, NIST, DOT, NIH, and Homeland Security.  The CATS has a wealth of experience helping companies write and submit SBIR and STTR grant proposals to help fund targeted research and development projects.  The CATS also has an impressive track record helping companies write and submit winning NYSERDA grant proposals to help fund energy-related research, development and commercialization projects in New York State.

Example CATS Industrial Projects

  • Precision positioning and assembly
  • Fuel cell membrane electrode assembly (MEA) manufacturing
  • High volume automated material handling systems
  • Automated inspection of wafers, contact lenses
  • High throughput screening and biological observations
  • Surgical simulaiton and treatment planning
  • MEMS modeling, design, and control
  • Environmental monitoring using networked autonomous underwater and aerial vehicles
  • Modeling and control of chemical and material processes