Robotics Fabrication

A Native American-Owned 8(a) Small Business

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About Us

Robotics Fabrication, Inc. (RFI) is a Native American-owned certified 8(a) small business headquartered in Panama City, Florida.

Before starting RFI in 2011, President Bill Lewis spent 10 years at the USAF Research Lab at Tyndall AFB (AFRL) working exclusively in the design, production, operation, and maintenance of robotic systems and remote control heavy equipment. Among other duties, he was the AFRL Principal Investigator on the Magnetic UXO Recovery System (MURS) and a subject matter expert on AFRL Robotic Range Clearance Competitions.

RFI’s Director of Robotics and Heavy Equipment Operations, Larry Johns, began his career in the United States Air Force where, after 15 years, he retired as a master explosive ordnance disposal technician. Larry spent a few years operating heavy equipment and remote vehicles and then became a Remote Vehicle Operator and later the Field Test Director at the AFRL, where he worked in robotics and remote vehicle operations for 13 years.

Together at the AFRL, Bill and Larry contributed significantly to developing the MURS capabilities as well as the All-purpose Remote Transport System (ARTS) robotics systems.

The primary focus of both those technologies is the safety and efficiency of UXO removal. That has become the primary focus of RFI.

RFI President Bill Lewis leads by example. He is a tenacious problem solver by nature and takes responsibility seriously. Many of his personal core values are reflected in the way RFI chooses to do business. Any job needs to be a job well done. Work smarter, not harder. A promise made is a promise kept.

Historically, contractors bidding on UXO and environmental remediation projects plan to subcontract for EOD/UXO technicians and use conventional remediation methods which put those technicians in close proximity or even in direct physical contact with the hazardous materials. Those contractors even plan to rent equipment of an unknown quality, reliability, and availability. Both the manner of staffing and methods of operation are very time-consuming, risky, and not cost-effective.

RFI’s unique approach to integrating proprietary robotics and RFI’s arsenal of remote-control heavy equipment with an in-house MMRP staff is aimed at achieving the safest, most cost-effective, and greatest time-saving methods of UXO and environmental remediation possible in the industry.

RFI looks at their personnel and the knowledge and experience they bring to a job as a valuable asset. RFI has specifically developed robotic and remote-control systems to protect that asset from many of the hazards commonly associated with UXO and environmental remediation projects. In the process, RFI robotics have streamlined many laborious tasks.

RFI is always striving to meet--and often exceed--client expectations and continues to develop robotic technologies and systems in response to ever-changing situations and client needs.