Computing Community Consortium Blog

The goal of the Computing Community Consortium (CCC) is to catalyze the computing research community to debate longer range, more audacious research challenges; to build consensus around research visions; to evolve the most promising visions toward clearly defined initiatives; and to work with the funding organizations to move challenges and visions toward funding initiatives. The purpose of this blog is to provide a more immediate, online mechanism for dissemination of visioning concepts and community discussion/debate about them.

First Person: “A Very Impressive Group of People”

June 24th, 2011 / in big science, policy, research horizons / by Erwin Gianchandani

A very impressive group of people came to CMU’s National Robotics Engineering Center for the announcement of the Advanced Manufacturing Program by President Barack Obama. I saw among the group:

  • College Presidents: CMU, MIT, Georgia Tech, U Michigan, and RPI;
  • US Senator: Bob Casey, Jr. (Pennsylvania);
  • Government officials: Directors of DARPA and NIST, and the CTO of NASA; and
  • Participants in the CCC Robotics Visioning effort: Henrik Christensen, Helen Greiner, Rod Brooks, and Matt Mason.

President Obama giving his speech.  Note the strategically placed robot in the background.President Obama was given a tour highlighting four projects:

  • An IED detection robot developed at CMU;
  • A sewer inspection robot developed at Redzone Robotics, a CMU spinoff;
  • A military vehicle created for DARPA by Local Motors, Inc.; and
  • Fluid simulation software, originally developed at LANL for weapons research, and then used by Proctor and Gamble for studying diapers. They will now make the software available to other companies.

Here is a paraphrase of the President’s message:

Our generation has been pounded by wave after wave of economic change.  Manufacturing jobs were once the ticket to a middle-class lifestyle, accessible to those with a high school diploma.  Over the years, dramatic improvements in productivity have had the unfortunate side effect of eliminating many of these jobs.

The goal of AMP is to reinvigorate American manufacturing, because a growing a robust economy requires robust manufacturing.

President Obama specifically mentioned the PCAST report on manufacturing as the impetus behind this initiative.

Overall, the atmosphere was very upbeat and optimistic.

More photos from today’s event after the jump (mouse-over each image for a description)…

Henrik Christensen, who led the CCC Robotics Visioning effort.

Helen Greiner speaking to Jack Shea of the AFL/CIO.

Matt Mason, who also helped lead the CCC Robotics Visioning effort.

President Obama giving his speech.  Note the strategically placed robot in the background.

(Contributed by Randy Bryant, Carnegie Mellon University)

First Person: “A Very Impressive Group of People”

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