Commercializing AI Tech | Lockheed Martin

Employee scanning a package on a conveyor belt.

Lockheed Martin

Innovative solutions for the postal industry

Lockheed Martin Distribution Technologies is a global security and aerospace company with around 97,000 employees worldwide. Primarily focused on researching, designing, developing, manufacturing, integrating, and sustaining advanced technology systems, products, and services, one of its specialties developed over the past two decades is designing and integrating mail automation technologies for postal services globally.

How Lockheed Martin Collaborates with UB

Access to AI experts     Licensing Technology   |   Engineering AI-Enabled Machinery


Enhance address recognition capability and increase efficiencies

Deciphering handwritten addresses to find where mail should be delivered is typically easy for trained individuals but presented a challenge for computers due to the variation of written characters. Lockheed Martin needed an innovative solution and looked to experts who were responsible for groundbreaking software that introduced handwriting recognition. The United States Postal Service awarded Lockheed Martin a contract to replace existing optical imaging cameras on equipment used to sort mail.

letters floating around a human hand holding a marker.
Team analyzing and optimizing business processes.


Revolutionizing mail delivery

Lockheed Martin licensed UB technology to develop a software system. UB innovator Venu Govindaraju was instrumental in architecting one of the first real-world AI success stories by deploying the HWAI system through Lockheed’s Remote Control Reader machines across all mail processing centers, saving hundreds of millions of dollars in labor costs by progressively reducing the need for manual sorting of mail. This achievement led to the licensing of the technology to UK’s Royal Mail and Australia Post with similar success. Today, the automated software system reads addresses on almost all mail in the U.S., saving the United States Postal Service billions of dollars over the years.


Following the successful integration of UB’s Handwritten Address Interpretation (HWAI) System into Lockheed’s mail larger processing system, the company continued to fund further improvements to handwriting recognition through direct contracts with UB. Lockheed was also interested in building on the success of this technology and developing postal systems for UK’s Royal Mail and Australia Post. UB’s research in developing handwriting technology was funded by USPS and USPS had a royalty free license for use of the technology for US mail processing, so Lockheed licensed UB’s HWAI technology developed under USPS funding for use in their UK Royal Mail and Australia Post systems and continued to fund research for system improvements.

Multiple pre-sorted first-class US mail envelope.


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