August 24, 2006
Purdue Research Park's Imaginestics wins grant for research on search enginesWEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. Imaginestics, a global supplier search engine company for the discrete manufacturing industry, today (Thursday, Aug. 24) announced that it was awarded a National Science Foundation Small Business Innovative Research Phase II grant to further develop its shape search technology to streamline search and retrieval of product information across the manufacturer's supply chain.
Imaginestics launched the beta release of 3D-Seek.com, the world's first online shape search engine in the fall of 2005. To date, the company has more than 3,000 registered suppliers and 30,000 products and custom parts indexed that contain catalogs, pictures, 2-D drawings and 3-D CAD models. Imaginestics' 3D-Seek technology currently enables users to search via inputs such as 2-D drawings, 3-D CAD model and even a doodle. Imaginestics plans to further enhance the technology to accept pictures as an input and match it to a 2-D drawing, 3-D CAD model or another picture. This research will further bolster Imaginestics' position in the marketplace as the leading global supplier search engine, said Nainesh Rathod, president and CEO of Imaginestics.
Imaginestics' 3D-Seek uses 3-D shape search technology as the basis for parts search across the supply chain to alleviate the inherent problems with textual descriptions, such as user bias, language and context sensitivity issues. The research will be an expansion of the earlier work done by Karthik Ramani, Purdue professor in mechanical engineering and director of Purdue Research and Education Center for Information Systems in Engineering in this area, which is patent pending. Imaginestics has licensed the technology from Purdue.
"We are excited to receive this grant from NSF, and it further validates the importance of our work in changing the way the industry searches for parts and products," Rathod said. "The work to be performed using this grant will help solve a very difficult problem in extracting the shape of a part or product from an image or picture."
Errol Arkilic, program manager at the NSF, said, "Since shape is unique to a part or product, 3D-Seek uses shape as a search input to overcome cultural, language and context challenges faced by traditional text based search engines. We believe that 3D-Seek has the potential to change the way suppliers market their products or capabilities."
CONTACT: Juneyeta Gates, Imaginestics LLC, (765) 464-1700 Ext. 114