This month marks the five-year anniversary of the National Robotics Initiative (NRI), the federal effort to develop co-robots that work cooperatively with people to solve problems of national priority, from health to space exploration to disaster response.
Launched by President Obama in 2011, NRI – a collaboration between NSF, NASA, NIH, DOD, DOE and USDA – has awarded $135 million in research awards to more than 200 co-robotics research projects across the nation. Collectively, the Initiative has advanced the state of the art in autonomous vehicles, catalyzed widespread interests in soft robotics, and jumpstarted efforts to develop open source platforms for robotics operating systems.
To celebrate this milestone, the Congressional Robotics Caucus is hosting an expo and briefing in Washington, D.C on June 9, with leading roboticists from industry, academia and government, as well as robotics demonstrations, from exoskeletons to robot swarms, by top researchers.
In the weeks leading up to and after the briefing, NSF, their agency partners, and leading universities have been highlighting both serious and lighthearted stories about state-of-the-art co-robotics research. They’ve been publishing new materials each day; you can find them on NSF.gov.
A schedule and information about the event/participants can be found at http://www.roboticscaucus.org/Schedule/2016/9June2016/FifthAnniversaryNationalRoboticsInitiative.asp.