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Tech Transfer

Connecting innovation and people with the market

How We Collaborate

The center works with external companies in three major ways:

Our Success Stories

Commercializing Our Work

Center faculty have started several companies to commercialize their research.


Cobots, collaborative robots for direct interaction with a human operator, were a lab invention. Cobots were brought to commercial utility by Cobotics LLC.  Cobotics was purchased in 2002 by Stanley Assembly Technology (Cleveland).

Cobots are covered by numerous patents, starting with 5923139 "Passive robotic constraint devices using non-holonomic transmission elements (cobots)".

Kinea Design LLC

Kinea Design LLC was formed in 2001 to apply human/machine interaction research and rigorous design principles to the needs of physical therapists and their patients who are regaining the ability to walk. The KineAssist gait and balance device was the result of that effort. The KineAssist program is now owned by the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab (formerly the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago).  

The design team went on to many other endeavors in robotics, prosthetics, and human interface. Kinea Design became part of HDT Global in 2011. The design team operates in Evanston, IL.  

MAKO Surgical Corp.

Mako Surgical Corp. (Ft. Lauderdale, FL) began as Z-KAT, a lab spinoff founded to commercialize developments in image guided surgery.  Mako Surgical was acquired by Stryker Corp. in 2013 for $1.65B.

US Patent 5799055 "Apparatus and method for planning a stereotactic surgical procedure using coordinated fluoroscopy" was foundational intellectual property.


Tanvas (originally Tangible Haptics LLC) was founded in 2011 to bring a compelling sense of haptic reality to interfaces on glass touch screens. Intellectual property resulted from lab developments in Surface Haptics.


Our Patents

View a partial list of patents our researchers have registered.

View Our Patents
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