Cohesive Robotics

“I'm motivated to develop robotic products that actually help people in the real world.”

David PietrocolaFounder

After 12 years in the robotics field, David launched Cohesive Robotics with one goal in mind.

He wanted to develop robotic products that solve real problems for small businesses. Current robotics and automation solutions are inflexible and expensive, so it’s unsurprising that 90% of U.S. manufacturers have not incorporated robotics into their operations. Through his experience in the field, he knew that automation could have a big impact, if simple solutions were created around bottlenecks and existing production floor problems. So, David set out to find the actual needs of fabricators and manufacturers.

This is not a new industry to David, whose parents own and operate a metals business in the Bronx. After visiting several manufacturers and industries, he saw that the biggest bottlenecks were in surface finishing. Even when companies utilized welding automation, manual labor was still required – which is tedious, imperfect, and can be unsafe for workers.

Once the problem was identified, David got to work creating a solution, and Cohesive Robotics was established in 2021. His prototype, the Smart Finishing Robotic Workcell system, underwent testing at three locations, where it proved to reduce processing time by 30-50%, rework by 90%, and abrasives consumption by 50%.

In April 2023, Cohesive Robotics celebrated another success when they were awarded the $50,000 Jeff Lawrence Innovation Fund manufacturing grant. This grant is intended to help small and mid-sized manufacturers bring their innovations to the marketplace, and David is focused on accelerating the company’s go-to-market plan. The funding will be used to improve the form and function of the system, complete functional safety and risk assessments, and help propel and deploy the system as a solution for manufacturers.

When speaking about what the future holds, David’s passion is clear. He shares, “When I was in academia, I completed research and papers that weren’t directly helping anyone or getting out in the world. Now I’m developing solutions that will have a real impact for workers, business owners, and progressing society forward.”

Q&A with David Pietrocola

What makes your company and idea unique?

There are other robotic companies in aerospace and sanding applications, but our unique focus is in meeting the specific aesthetic and architectural finish needs of high-mix fabricators and manufacturers.

What keeps you motivated?

I want to develop robotic products that actually get used. When I was in academia and completing R&D projects, the work rarely got out into the world or helped people. Now, I'm developing products and robotic solutions that have a real impact in bringing jobs back, saving employee health, and progressing society.

What’s your advice to someone starting out in this business?

Put the customer first. Understand their issues and create something to solve a problem.

What's your favorite place to grab lunch on a work day?

Holy Pita - it's a favorite for many of us in The Yard.