Sponsored by Monday Properties and written by ARLnow.com, Startup Monday is a weekly column that profiles Arlington-based startups and their founders, plus other local technology happenings. The Ground Floor, Monday’s office space for young companies in Rosslyn, is now open. The Metro-accessible space features a 5,000-square-foot common area that includes a kitchen, lounge area, collaborative meeting spaces, and a stage for formal presentations.
(Updated 12:30 p.m.) Within one building at any given time, a soap dispenser might be running low, a toilet could be nearing overflow or power might be wasted.
Smart technologies enable building managers to monitor all of this and more — but that information isn’t always easy to manage.
Service Robotics & Technologies is a local startup looking to make it easier to use those devices and the data they collect.
“What we’re developing is a lightweight, map-based smart building management software,” CEO and founder Greg Scott said.
That software can bring together and analyze data from devices like soap dispensers, air quality sensors and floor cleaning robots to provide “actionable information to a building manager on a fully customizable dashboard,” Scott said.
With Scott’s background in robotics — his PhD work focused on space robotics — SRT first looked into deploying robots to perform services like vacuuming and delivery. They found, however, that “the biggest unmet need was actually not in the robotics sector,” but instead in the “industry of building management,” Scott said.
Without SRT, a building manager who wants to use five different sensors might need to acquire and learn five separate software packages in order to track the data collected by each device.
By working with SRT, which has developed partnerships with “a number of hardware companies that have specialty products,” clients can have devices installed and receive training to manage them through one piece of software, Scott said.
“We’re able to come in and consult with clients who… haven’t yet jumped onto the smart building bandwagon and can provide a variety of options for them,” Scott said. “And even those companies… who already [have] some smart building technologies” can make use of SRT’s services, he added.
Scott began working on SRT full-time about two years ago, when he left his job at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory. Though still in beta mode, SRT is “actively moving toward… formal commercialization,” Scott said.
Grants from the National Science Foundation and the Center for Innovative Technology have made up the bulk of the support for SRT’s development thus far, Scott said, though there has been some outside investment and the company is “always looking for good investment partners.”
None of the startup’s current beta clients are located in Arlington, but Scott said he “can see a lot of benefits of how our product can work in the Arlington area,” particularly in places like Rosslyn and Crystal City with larger buildings.
“Being able to provide that actionable information is able to streamline staff time, which is going to be really helpful for the operational type staff in the large building tier,” Scott said.
Photos courtesy Greg Scott