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Wallaroo.AI Receives Small Business Technology Transfer Award to Advance AI On-Orbit

Wallaroo.AI Receives Small Business Technology Transfer Award to Advance AI On-Orbit | Wallaroo.AI blog
Wallaroo.AI Receives Small Business Technology Transfer Award to Advance AI On-Orbit | Wallaroo.AI blog

NEW YORK – Wallaroo.AI, the leader in scaling production machine learning (ML) from the cloud to the edge, announces it has been selected by AFWERX (the innovation arm of the Department of the Air Force) for a Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Phase II contract to address the most pressing challenges in the Department of the Air Force (DAF).

The Air Force Research Laboratory and AFWERX have partnered to streamline the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) process by accelerating the small business experience through faster proposal to award timelines, changing the pool of potential applicants by expanding opportunities to small business and eliminating bureaucratic overhead by continually implementing process improvement changes in contract execution.

The DAF began offering the Open Topic SBIR/STTR program in 2018 which expanded the range of innovations the DAF funded and now on July 20, 2023, Wallaroo.AI will start its journey to create and provide innovative capabilities that will strengthen the national defense of the United States of America.

“The ability to deploy, manage, and maintain ML models at the edge, on-orbit, and within the constraints of available hardware, limited compute, limited power, in the hostile environment that is space is critical to the development of the space industry,” said Vid Jain, CEO of Wallaroo.AI “We think we are well-positioned to be the default platform for ML in space, enabling space agencies to achieve automation in space for activities such as satellite refueling and repairs, while also addressing potential threats from objects in space.”

By leveraging AI at the edge, Wallaroo.AI empowers the US Space Force, the primary beneficiary of this groundbreaking project. This work will build on current projects Wallaroo is working on with Air Force Research Laboratory Space Vehicles Directorate (AFRL/RV) to deploy ML models at the edge with radiation tolerant commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) integrated circuits. This revolutionary development promises to transform automation in space by leveraging AI for robotics, refueling, and protecting satellites from space debris.

The research will be conducted in collaboration with the computer science department at New Mexico State University, further solidifying Wallaroo.AI’s commitment to collaboration and knowledge-sharing in the pursuit of cutting-edge technological advancements. Dr. Enrico Pontelli, Dean of the New Mexico State University College of Arts and Sciences commented,

“Wallaroo has demonstrated their AI/ML Platform to our researchers who believe this platform—with its interoperable and integrated architecture combined with our capabilities in partnership—can be deployed in the cloud and at the edge to deliver a game changing information advantage for critical space and military decision-making.”

The space industry is experiencing rapid growth, with Forbes reporting its value at $469 billion in 2021. McKinsey projects it to reach an astonishing $1 trillion by 2030. As AI at the edge emerges as a critical component for automation in space, Wallaroo.AI’s advanced ML solutions are poised to play a pivotal role in the industry’s development. Wallaroo.AI was among only 20 companies chosen for the Phase II program, highlighting its leadership in the field.

Disclaimer – The views expressed in this release are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Department of the Air Force, the Department of Defense, or the U.S. government.

About Wallaroo.AI
Wallaroo.AI empowers enterprise AI teams to operationalize Machine Learning (ML) to drive positive outcomes with a software platform that enables deployment, observability, optimization and scalability of ML in the cloud, in decentralized networks, and at the edge. The unified Wallaroo.AI platform enables enterprise AI teams to easily deploy ML in seconds with no fuss or engineering overhead. They can then observe and optimize in real-time from a self-service operations center. Enterprises can run at scale with 80% less infrastructure and turbocharge their Databricks and Cloud ML production workflows using familiar dev tools. Wallaroo.AI is backed by Microsoft’s venture fund, M12, and leading VCs including Boldstart, Contour Ventures, Enicac, Greycroft, and Ridgeline. Learn more at

About Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL)

Sole organization leading the planning and execution of U.S. Air Force & U.S. Space Force science & technology programs. Orchestrates a world-wide government, industry & academia coalition in the discovery, development & delivery of a wide range of revolutionary technology.  Provides leading-edge warfighting capabilities keeping air, space and cyberspace forces the world’s best. Employs 10,800 military, civilian and contractor personnel at 17 research sites executing an annual $4B budget. For more information, visit:


The innovation arm of the DAF and a directorate within AFRL. Brings cutting-edge American ingenuity from small businesses and start-ups to address the most pressing challenges of the DAF. Employs approximately 215 military, civilian and contractor personnel at five hubs and sites executing an annual $1.4B budget. Since 2019, has executed 4,671 contracts worth more than $2B to strengthen the U.S. defense industrial base and drive faster technology transition to operational capability. For more information, visit:

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