On Friday, in a speech at Carnegie Mellon University, President Obama announced the plan for major federal investments in next-generation robotics. The National Robotics Initiative (NRI) is a bold program that supports the development and use of robots that work beside, or cooperatively with, people and that enhance individual human capabilities, performance and safety. NSF is the lead agency in this multi-agency program that also includes NASA, NIH and USDA. NRI calls for cross-agency investments of up to $70 million in the first year with anticipated growth in funding as other agencies and industry partners emerge. NRI is part of the Advanced Manufacturing Partnership (AMP), a national effort to enhance job growth and global competitiveness.
The initiative is based on a definitive report, A Roadmap for US Robotics — From Internet to Robotics, developed by more than 100 robotics expertsfrom industry and academia as part of the Computing Community Consortium (CCC) study on robotics. The computing community also played a critical role in contributing to the PCAST report Designing a Digital Future: Federally Funded Research and Development in Networking and InformationTechnology, where the impact of R&D in robotics is predicted to have dramatic benefit to productivity and sustainable economic growth.
NSF issued a press release on the initiative on Friday, entitled NSF Leads Interagency Collaboration to Develop Advanced Robotics. CISE is taking the lead on this program at NSF; we will work with our colleagues in the Engineering, Education and Human Resources, and Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences Directorates to jointly manage the merit review process. We welcome your participation in this exciting program.
Directorate for Computer and Information Science and Engineering (CISE)
National Science Foundation
To learn more about the NRI, click here.
(Contributed by Erwin Gianchandani, CCC Director)