Robohub.org
 

National Science Foundation and federal partners award $31.5M to advance co-robots in US

by
20 November 2014



share this:
The Baxter robot hands off a cable to a human collaborator -- an example of a co-robot in action. Photo credit: Aaron Bestick, UC Berkeley.

The Baxter robot hands off a cable to a human collaborator — an example of a co-robot in action. Photo credit: Aaron Bestick, UC Berkeley.

From disaster recovery to caring for the elderly in the home, scientists and engineers are developing robots that can handle critical tasks in close proximity to humans, safely and with greater resilience than previous generations of intelligent machines.

Today the National Science Foundation (NSF), in partnership with the National Institutes of Health, US Department of Agriculture and NASA announced $31.5 million in new awards to spur the development and use of co-robots — robots that work cooperatively with people.

The awards mark the third round of funding made through the National Robotics Initiative (NRI), a multi-agency program launched in September 2012 as part of the Advanced Manufacturing Partnership Initiative, with NSF as the lead federal agency.

“Robots and robotic systems have the potential to augment human abilities, improve our quality of life and perform dangerous tasks unsuitable for people,” said Suzi Iacono, acting assistant director of the Computer and Information Science and Engineering Directorate at NSF. “Working with our federal partners in NRI has spurred new research directions that weren’t previously possible without these collaborations.”

The 52 new research awards, ranging from $300,000 to $1.8 million over one to four years, advance fundamental understanding of robotic sensing, motion, computer vision, machine learning and human-computer interaction. The awards include research to develop soft robots that are safer for human interaction, determine how humans can lead teams of robots in recovery situations and design robots that can check aging infrastructure and map remote geographic areas.

A full listing of the NRI investments made by NSF is available on the NSF’s NRI Program page.

The NRI awards address the entire development cycle of robots, from fundamental research to deployments in critical environments, and will help make safe, helpful and affordable co-robots a reality.

“Our engineers and scientists are creating a world where robotic systems serve as trusted co-workers, co-inhabitants, co-explorers and co-defenders,” said Pramod Khargonekar, assistant director of NSF’s Engineering Directorate. “The National Robotics Initiative serves the national good by encouraging collaboration among academic, industry, non-profit and other organizations — and by speeding creation of fundamental science and engineering knowledge base used by researchers, applications developers and industry.”

NSF’s investments in robotics explore both the technical and engineering challenges of developing co-robots and the long-term social, behavioral and economic implications of co-robots across all areas of human activities. As part of the initiative, NSF also supports the development of new methods for the establishment and infusion of robotics in educational curricula.

Earlier this month, NRI announced its latest solicitation, which has been joined by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and the Department of Defense as new partners. The program expects to award up to $50 million in 2015.

If you liked this article, you may also be interested in:

See all the latest robotics news on Robohub, or sign up for our weekly newsletter.



tags: , , , ,


the National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal US agency created to promote the progress of science.
the National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal US agency created to promote the progress of science.





Related posts :



IEEE 17th International Conference on Automation Science and Engineering paper awards (with videos)

The IEEE International Conference on Automation Science and Engineering (CASE) is the flagship automation conference of the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society and constitutes the primary forum for c...
ep.

340

podcast

NVIDIA and ROS Teaming Up To Accelerate Robotics Development, with Amit Goel

Amit Goel, Director of Product Management for Autonomous Machines at NVIDIA, discusses the new collaboration between Open Robotics and NVIDIA. The collaboration will dramatically improve the way ROS and NVIDIA's line of products such as Isaac SIM and the Jetson line of embedded boards operate together.
23 October 2021, by

One giant leap for the mini cheetah

A new control system, demonstrated using MIT’s robotic mini cheetah, enables four-legged robots to jump across uneven terrain in real-time.
23 October 2021, by

Robotics Today latest talks – Raia Hadsell (DeepMind), Koushil Sreenath (UC Berkeley) and Antonio Bicchi (Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia)

Robotics Today held three more online talks since we published the one from Amanda Prorok (Learning to Communicate in Multi-Agent Systems). In this post we bring you the last talks that Robotics Today...
21 October 2021, by and

Sense Think Act Pocast: Erik Schluntz

In this episode, Audrow Nash interviews Erik Schluntz, co-founder and CTO of Cobalt Robotics, which makes a security guard robot. Erik speaks about how their robot handles elevators, how they have hum...
19 October 2021, by and

A robot that finds lost items

Researchers at MIT have created RFusion, a robotic arm with a camera and radio frequency (RF) antenna attached to its gripper, that fuses signals from the antenna with visual input from the camera to locate and retrieve an item, even if the item is buried under a pile and completely out of view.
18 October 2021, by





©2021 - ROBOTS Association


 












©2021 - ROBOTS Association