News > i3

Startups Shine at CES on the Hill

Digital Patriot Rep. Greg Walden (R-OR)

CES on the Hill brought a house full of innovators to Washington on the first day of May, giving policymakers a view into the future of technology. Technology is tackling everything from water conservation to robots built with education in mind, and CES on the Hill helped show Congressmembers why Washington needs to make sure these companies continue to innovate and help make our country a better place to work and live. 

Turf Cloud

During his time as a golf course superintendent, Jason VanBuskirk needed an easier and more responsive way to track the course’s data. So, he built Turf Cloud, which uses an autonomous drone to take satellite photos of the course and measure its surface temperatures and infrared lights. Using a cloud-based app, the system analyzes the photos to see which areas need watering or extra care, then helps users plan and log the work needed. 

“Our vision is that we’re going to improve your playing conditions if you’re on a golf course or improve your crop yield if you’re on a farm,” VanBuskirk says. 

But as Turf Cloud grows, he says FAA mandated flight rules have stopped drones from accessing several golf courses. VanBuskirk hopes policymakers relax restrictions on flying drones so TurfCloud can be used at any busy golf course or farm. 


ProGlove’s product is barely larger than a sticky note but has a big impact on factory and retail workers. ProGlove condenses an everyday scanning gun into a wearable that is strapped onto a glove, allowing users to scan barcodes quickly, comfortably and hands-free.

“We enable workers with our ergonomic wearables to be more efficient at their jobs,” ProGlove’s U.S. Marketing Manager Adam Brown says. “So, for any industrial, manufacturing, logistics warehouse or distribution setting – where there’s high-volume scanning – we’re able to take that legacy product and replace it with an ergonomic improvement.”

As ProGlove continues to grow, the impact of technology on the future of work is on its creators’ mind. They hope to show politicians how technology can help workers, not hinder them. 

“We work with manufacturers and there’s a lot of discussion about automation taking away blue-collar jobs,” Brown says. “Our product is focused on being augmented – it’s helping existing workers be better at what they do instead of replacing them.”

Bosch’s Perfectly Keyless

Bosch’s Perfectly Keyless phone app uses Bluetooth technology to turn your smartphone into a digital car key. As long as a person is within 50 meters of their car and have their smartphone, the car will unlock automatically. 

“It adds an additional layer of security, so you don’t have to worry about somebody trying to get in or steal your car from getting your key out of your pocket,” Michael Tucci of Bosch says. 

There’s more: the app also lets you share access with other app users. For example, you can give your spouse the ability to turn on the car with their cell phone or give your mailman the ability to open just the trunk of your car to drop off a package. 


As schools look for creative ways to engage and educate students, Elnaz Sarraf, founder and CEO of ROYBI, believes her robot can help. Although it’s barely bigger than your hand, ROYBI is an artificial intelligence (AI) powered robot that teaches children a “personalized learning experience” focused on language. Just like a teacher, ROYBI can talk one-on-one with children ages three to seven to help them with vocabulary and basic sentences. ROYBI’s advanced AI can also pace its lessons with the child, adjusting its content based on how quickly they learn. 

“We are starting with language because it is the building block of other skills that kids can learn down the road,” says Sarraf.


A new age of politics calls for a new age of engagement. Seeing eye to eye – or face to face – is even more necessary now.

While CES on the Hill connects the latest technology with our nation’s representatives, TourTrackr is making it even easier. By digitizing the tour tracking process in Washington D.C., TourTrackr makes planning a trip to visit your representative easier by providing notifications and updating calendars. Representatives aren’t the only ones with busy schedules, after all.


Not only can Sprinkl automate the busy work involved in nurturing your garden, it also can save up to 70 percent in water usage. With Sprinkl’s in-ground wireless soil moisture sensors, its SmartYard system automatically assesses the moisture requirements for each part of a property and delivers the appropriate amount of water. Since each section’s watering needs differ based on size or sun exposure, Sprinkl ensures no spot is over or under watered.

“Everyone treats their entire lawn the same, but we take the guess work out of it,” says Ian Woodward-Smith. 

Mark Chisholm and Jeremy Snow