ReconRobotics, an Edina developer of micro-robot systems that started in 2006 to commercialize technology developed at the University of Minnesota, was one of 15 companies recognized for excellence Thursday night at the annual Tekne Awards of the Minnesota High Tech Association.

"Over the last 13 years, the Tekne Awards have truly highlighted Minnesota as an emerging technology powerhouse and increased awareness for the innovators and technological front-runners throughout the state," said Margaret Anderson Kelliher, president of the association.

Recon's small, look-ahead Scout and Throwbot robots are used by hundreds of law enforcement agencies. The U.S. military has used the technology in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Other winners included:

• SheerWind, which makes small-scale wind turbine systems that can generate power from wind speeds as low as 2 miles per hour.

• The Blandin Foundation for its collaboration on behalf of the Minnesota Intelligent Rural Communities coalition, Blandin's most recent effort to bring broadband to rural communities.

• The Bloomington data-storage operation of Seagate Technology, a provider of hard drives and storage products. At the Bloomington facility, Seagate designs and manufactures the magnetic recording head, the most complex component in a hard drive. It involves 868 steps, 274 process tools and 72 days to produce tiny devices.

Neal St. Anthony