Fauxsee Innovations Wins NSF SBIR Phase IB Grant
Fauxsee Innovations, a Magnolia-based Arkansas company, was selected for a Phase IB grant award of $15,000 through the National Science Foundation that will allow the company to continue development of its Roboglasses� device to improve navigation and reduce upper-body injury among the sight-impaired.
A recent study by the University of Santa Cruz indicated that more than 46% of the 11.4 million visually impaired people in America experience head injury while in motion at least once a month, with 23% of these injuries requiring medical attention. Fauxsee Innovations' Roboglasses� device will allow sight-impaired individuals to detect obstacles in their upper-body pathway that cannot currently be detected by guide dogs or walking canes.
Currently, Fauxsee Innovations
is performing on the last month of a NSF Small Business Innovation Research Phase I award to design, develop, evaluate and specify Roboglasses�. Timothy Zigler, vice president of Fauxsee Innovations, said, "Our NSF SBIR Phase I award allowed us to prove that the Roboglasses� theory and concept works."
Brandon Foshee, CEO and president of Fauxsee Innovations, said the latest award "will allow us to further refine our prototype from what we call the 'carryable' version to the 'wearable' version. In other words, it will help us to miniaturize our prototype." Zigler also noted, "It is very important to keep our engineers and team members busy between Phase I and II awards. Without it, I am afraid that the team would lose the valuable momentum that Phase I has given our company."
Fauxsee Innovations received support from the Arkansas Small Business and Technology Development Center and Enable Ventures with the development of its NSF Phase IB proposal, as well as an Arkansas Science and Technology Authority Technology Transfer Assistance Grant.
When asked if he had advice for other NSF SBIR awardees who may want to pursue Phase IB funding, Zigler said, "There are no 'cons' to the NSF Phase IB program, but be prepared to put your head down and work for it, and that goes for the entire NSF SBIR program. It is a lot of work and it is work that comes at a time in your business when there is plenty else to do, but the program is so valuable to the survival of a small business like ours."
Foshee noted, "If you are considering applying for Phase IB funding, Rebecca Norman at ASBTDC is a wonderful resource."