ERAU MicaPlex Announces New Tenants Creating “Flying Cars” & Wheelchairs

By on February 2, 2018 in WNDB News

Daytona Beach, FL – Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (ERAU) has introduced two new research park tenants that will focus on creating hybrid-electric “flying cars” and improving wheelchair and mobility technology, respectively.

VerdeGo Aero, one of the new John Mica Engineering and Aerospace Innovation Complex (MicaPlex) tenants, aims to produce piloted and autonomous “hybrid-electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft,” or “flying cars,” that are quiet, fast, and safe. The company seeks to cheaply transport passengers and cargo in high-traffic urban environments.

The founder of the company, Erik Lindbergh, is the grandson of Charles Lindbergh, a famous aviator and inventor. Dr. Richard “Pat” Anderson, ERAU Professor of Aerospace Engineering and Director of the Eagle Flight Research Center (EFRC), is VerdeGo’s co-founder and Chief Technology Officer.

The other tenant, JackDrive Mobility Inc., seeks to provide solutions to those who are mobility challenged. Currently, JackDrive Mobility is working on a prototype of a wheelchair that uses “bench-press type motion” to help reduce some of the burdens on wheelchair uses. Oftentimes, wheelchairs cause carpal tunnel and rotator cuff injuries. The company claims the indoor and outdoor use wheelchair will provide health and fitness benefits to those who use it.

Both VerdeGo and JackDrive Mobility are Tenant Partners, which means they will work together with other tenants, ERAU faculty, financial and legal advisors, labs, and researchers to create innovation and business within the thriving research corridor in Florida. These tenants will be able to work with the EFRC and what will be the Applied Aviation and Engineering Research Hangar.

ERAU has also announced that it will house a new startup at the MicaPlex founded by Embry-Riddle Worldwide alum, master’s degree recipient, and U.S. Marine Corps veteran Reamonn Soto. Soto won the first Florida Venture Forum’s Statewide Collegiate Business Plan Competition for Embry-Riddle in 2017.

Soto’s company, Sensatek Propulsion Technology Inc., will become a part of ERAU’s Technology Business Incubator, a support-stem for startups and young companies that are in the research and development phase.

Sensatek seeks to create ceramic sensors that remotely monitor the efficiency of gas turbines by predicting and informing when they are in need of repair. The company claims it will lessen the financial burden on gas turbine owners by millions of dollars. Sensatek will be able to utilize ERAU labs, resources, education, and training. They will also receive professional legal, financial, technological and venture capital investing advice.

“As the epicenter of collaborative research enterprise and entrepreneurship, we are excited to welcome diverse and forward-thinking companies such as these to Embry-Riddle’s Research Park,” said Dr. P. Barry Butler, ERAU President. “As these companies develop and succeed, they will join existing partners and our university’s talent base to serve as a catalyst not only for increased exposure for Florida’s rapidly growing reputation as a technology and innovation hub but as a stimulator and provider of high-paying, high-tech and highly skilled jobs to our community.”

Photo courtesy Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.

Copyright Southern Stone Communications 2018.


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