For Hambrick, the journey to start a company that focuses on automation technology followed one familiar to many entrepreneurs. “I saw a need for products that were not there—a real gap in the supply chain,” he says. “I started the business in a spare bedroom, then, when it got bigger, moved it into a barn.”
AutonomouStuff, founded in 2010, has grown to a sizable operation with more than 1,500 customers, Hambrick says. “We have customers in China, Japan, South Korea, Europe and Australia. In the future, we will see more products and a lot more software,” he says. “We believe we are in the middle of enabling this [autonomous vehicle] industry.”
In 2012, AutonomouStuff formed a spin-off company, Portland, Oregon-based Harbrick Technologies, now called Polysync, to provide a middleware platform for automotive OEMs and their suppliers to build, test, and deploy driverless systems.
“We started Harbrick because we noticed a gap in technology within the industry. We had many customers who were acquiring a variety of different sensing technologies—and were struggling with pulling all of the data together,” Hambrick says.
For example, he points out that one Velodyne LiDAR sensor can output a million points-a-second of data with a 360-degree field of view. “Now, add two of those, five radars, six more LiDAR systems, four cameras, and you have a tremendous amount of data to synchronize, perform coordinate frame transformations, visualize and more.”
Hambrick says AutonomouStuff’s Automated Research Development platform shortens development time for his company and customers by years. “In some cases, many years,” he says.