Professor Sundaresan Jayaraman (right) with Steve Dickerson of SoftWear Automation (left) and Governor Sonny Perdue (center).
Professor Sundaresan Jayaraman recently received a $100,000 research grant award from the State of Georgia that was personally presented by Governor Sonny Perdue.
The state's Centers of Innovation awarded the grant to aid in the research and development of robotic micro-manipulation for advanced automation of the traditional sewing process.
"In simple terms, our key objective is to automatically control the movement of the fabric through the sewing machine to take the place of the sewing machine operator who is responsible for guiding and finely manipulating the fabric during the sewing process," explains Jayaraman.
Jayaraman, a professor who holds joint appointments in the College of Management and School of Polymer, Textile and Fiber Engineering, started the project based on the concept of counting threads in fabric using machine vision systems proposed by Steve Dickerson, chairman of SoftWear Automation Inc. and an emeritus professor of mechanical engineering at Tech.
Because SoftWear Automation provided a $100,000 grant that was matched by the state grant, Dickerson was also recognized at the governor's event for his company’s contribution.
Jayaraman has assembled a team of researchers from the School of Mechanical Engineering, the College of Computing, and the Georgia Tech Research Institute to work on the project. "Our overall objective is to build an advanced robotics machine that will transform the roll of cloth fed at one end into a garment at the other end as it automatically travels through a series of workstations incorporating various building blocks of automation that will be developed during the research," he says.
"The project is going along well and some of the 'building blocks' of automation are being prototyped now," Jayaraman says.
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