Rice CS' Hu and Costilla-Reyes win highly competitive NSF Small Business Innovation Research grant

The grant will help further develop their system for creating machine-learning models used in Internet of Things industrial hardware

Hu and Costilla-Reyes

Two researchers in computer science (CS) at Rice have received a highly competitive NSF Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant to further their work on AutoEdge.ai, an automated machine-learning platform for edge devices.

The $255,889 grant will enable Alfredo Costilla-Reyes, a postdoctoral researcher, and Xia “Ben” Hu, associate professor of CS, to further develop their fast and easy-to-use system for creating machine-learning models used in Internet of Things industrial hardware. Their proposal is titled “AutoEdge, A Hardware-aware AutoML Platform for Resource-Constrained Devices.”

“The primary goal of this project is to develop an automated machine learning platform for generating optimal deep learning models on edge devices,” Costilla-Reyes said. “Automated machine learning aims to find an optimal deep learning model without human efforts and at a fraction of the current time and cost.”

Costilla-Reyes and Hu have also received a Rice Innovation Fellowship and backing from the Technology Development Fund from the Rice Office of Technology Transfer.

“A successful project,” Costilla-Reyes said, “will transform the vision-inspection market in manufacturing, making it more efficient to create advanced solutions, reduce network stress, minimize latency and increase security. A successful outcome will enable the fast, affordable and easy creation of on-device AI with many industrial applications.”

“We look forward to leveraging internal and federal innovation programs to broaden the impact of our research,” Hu said. “At the same time, we are proud to share that we are completing our pre-seed round from NetMind.AI, a UK firm focused on advanced AI cloud computing.”

Costilla-Reyes earned his Ph.D. in electrical engineering at Texas A&M University in 2020 and spent an additional year there as a postdoctoral researcher. Hu earned his Ph.D. in CS from Arizona State University in 2015 and joined the Rice faculty in 2021.



The Rice Ken Kennedy Institute is located on the campus of Rice University inside Duncan Hall. Click the map below for directions.

Rice Map


Rice University
Ken Kennedy Institute
6100 Main Street, MS-39
Houston, Texas 77005


Phone: 713-348-5823
Email: kenkennedy@rice.edu

Subscribe to our Newsletter.