Company Founded by UT Dallas Ph.D. Student Receives $1.5M Emerging Technology Grant

Hanson Robotics, Inc., of Dallas, founded by University of Texas at Dallas Ph.D. student David Hanson, received a $1.5 million Texas Emerging Technology Fund grant to help the young company take its new robotics technologies to market, according to an announcement made today by Texas Gov. Rick Perry.

Ph.D. candidate David Hanson's robots are noted for having realistic movements, interactions, and appearances.

The grant will enable Hanson Robotics to commercialize its patent-pending robot which has a more lifelike appearance than existing robots and speech recognition software that creates more realistic human-robotic interactions.  The technology promises many potential applications, including in areas such as prosthetics.

Dr. Mihai Nadin, the Ashbel Smith Professor who heads the Institute for Research in Anticipatory Systems at UT Dallas, and colleagues will work with the firm on user interface and interactive design. Personnel from The University of Texas at Arlington’s Automation and Robotics Research Institute will be involved in manufacturing and mechanical design.

The $200 million Texas Emerging Technology Fund was created by the Texas Legislature in 2005 at the request of the governor. Since then, more than $44 million has been awarded from the fund in an effort to keep Texas competitive with other states in areas of new and innovative technologies.

Hanson is pursing a Ph.D. degree as a student in UT Dallas’ Institute for Interactive Arts and Engineering. The institute, headed by Dr. Tom Linehan, is devoted to the study of the effects technology can have on such fields as the arts, computer science, physics, filmmaking, literature and communications. Hanson has received worldwide media coverage in recent years for his breakthroughs in creating lifelike androids.