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PGH Lab picks water quality monitoring, 3D mapping, smart clothing startups

Aaron Aupperlee
| Tuesday, June 6, 2017, 10:54 a.m.
A screen capture of Kaarta's 3D, real-time, drone-based mapping technology.
A screen capture of Kaarta's 3D, real-time, drone-based mapping technology.

Smart trash cans, smart clothing, sensors to monitor water quality, 3D maps and tools to help us work better together will be tested in the Pittsburgh as part of the second round of the city's PGH Lab program, Mayor Bill Peduto's office announced Tuesday.

PGH Lab gives startups a chance to test their products on problems facing the city and work with city staff for three to four months.

The companies selected out of 30 applications are:

CleanRobotics , which makes Trashbot, a smart trash can that uses artificial intelligence to sort trash and recyclables;

Cognowear , which makes clothing with embedded electronics and sensors to monitor a person's environment and body signals to create more comfortable clothes;

Flywheel , which helps offices and staff work better together as a team;

Kaarta , which has developed software and hardware that can create 3D models and maps of an area in real time;

MellonHead Labs , which makes CATTfish, a sensor to track water quality.

The companies will work on pilot projects with the city, the Urban Redevelopment Authority, the Housing Authority of the City of Pittsburgh and the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority. They will have access to coworking spaces, mentors, assistance and guidance and a free membership to an online incubator program. All are based in the city.

"PGH Lab startups will have the opportunity to test new ideas in a real-world environment and learn how their products can make people's lives easier," Peduto said in a statement.

Last year, PGH Lab selected HiberSense , a company that makes smart heating and air conditioning sensors and vents; TransitSource , a transportation data company, and Renergé , a hydro-energy system for rivers.

Aaron Aupperlee is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at, 412-336-8448 or via Twitter @tinynotebook.

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