‘We Want to Assemble Anything’ – USC Viterbi

Max Reynolds headshot

Max Reynolds, CEO of Symbio, is building waves in the automation marketplace. Photo credit: Symbio

In 1901, Henry Ford invented the assembly line. A basic strategy — a equipment shifting the product even though staff hooked up each and every portion — built automobiles available to the complete American population and eternally revolutionized the area of manufacturing.

In the more than one hundred several years given that, the assembly line has scarcely altered. Irrespective of remarkable improvements in know-how, staff across The us nonetheless sit on assembly traces performing menial, repetitive duties.

Max Reynolds has established out to adjust that.

Symbio, the company he founded in 2014, operates with brands to implement its computer software and adaptive industrial robotics to increase factory performance by automation. Even though robots are intensely utilized all through the manufacturing system in The usa, fewer than 5 percent of the closing action — the final assembly — is automated. Robots excel at accomplishing easy, repetitive jobs, so they can have hassle dealing with the inconsistencies and flaws that surface on an assembly line. To Reynolds, however, that just suggests there is much more area for innovation. 

“Many engineers have tried to explain to me, ‘Manufacturing is a solved problem,’” claims Reynolds, who graduated from Viterbi with a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering in 2014. “But the actuality is, it is the major market place out there for automation, and therefore has the most important troubles.”

“Symbio is a product or service-targeted enterprise focusing on resolving real suffering factors in the manufacturing business,” he explains.

Reynolds fostered a love for math and physics from a youthful age. Just after currently being launched to robotics by an AP Physics teacher in substantial college, he joined his significant school’s Initially Robotics crew, sooner or later starting to be the captain. From there, he was intrigued by mechanical engineering’s large array of tangible apps.

His father worked at USC, and he grew up attending soccer video games just about every weekend. For him, attending USC Viterbi and studying mechanical engineering was a no-brainer. 

Reynolds credits the robust academic practical experience of Viterbi and mentorship from college members for giving him perception to both of those the educational and market sides of engineering. 

On campus, he was associated in Engineers with out Borders and the Formulation SAE Style crew, and undergraduate study in Dr. Andrea Armani’s lab, granting him fingers-on knowledge along with his coursework. During his summers, he labored at Northrop Grumman, aiding to style their F-18 fighter planes.

“Among the learners in my Engineering Academy portion, Max stood out from working day 1,” stated Dr. Armani, Ray Irani Chair in Chemical Engineering and Products Science.

“Sitting in the entrance row, he was a incredibly active contributor to all of the in-class initiatives. This creativeness carried more than into his exploration placement in my lab. By the time he graduated, he had explored both modeling and experimental get the job done across a range of fields.”

He commenced a PhD at UC Berkeley right after graduation, but was struck by the vast disconnect between contemporary educational investigate and the actual-entire world challenges faced in industry. Before long after, he dropped out and launched Symbio. 

Symbio operates employing the electricity of synthetic intelligence. 1 of the key limitations to automatic assembly is the problems of putting a new aspect on a relocating goal. Reynolds adapted pc eyesight know-how styles to the manufacturing unit setting, and then utilised equipment studying to prepare them to complete the suitable jobs. This application is well-suited for the automotive market given that substantially of the function involves repetitive movements where by robots can easily and securely help.

Symbio will work with most of the foremost automotive producers. Recently, the company successfully completed a big undertaking overhauling the assembly procedure at Ford. The famous organization that invented the assembly line was brought into the 21st century by Reynolds’s group.

The firm has been so universally successful due to Reynolds’s philosophy of innovating not only the solution by itself, but the complete process of applying it. By enhancing the person experience of doing the job with AI, the producing procedure will become simpler and far more productive for the engineers who oversee it.

Now that they’ve revved up the automotive market, what’s next for Symbio?

According to Reynolds, anything at all. 

The rules of the automotive sector are so rigorous that adapting Symbio’s technological innovation to other fields will be a piece of cake in comparison. Reynolds desires to apply the know-how to aerospace, electronics, and even development.

“Success in the automotive business is like a stamp of acceptance that is legitimate anyplace,” claims Reynolds. “Symbio has use conditions we cannot even visualize suitable now. At some point, we want to assemble anything at all.”

Published on January 24th, 2022

Past updated on January 24th, 2022