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National Robotics Initiative Awards provide $7 million for Carnegie Mellon research projects
Date:10/24/2013

PITTSBURGH -- Robotic rotorcraft for inspecting bridges and other infrastructure, tools for minimally invasive surgery that guide surgeons by creating 3D maps of internal organs and assistive robots for blind travelers are among seven new Carnegie Mellon University research projects sponsored through the National Robotics Initiative.

The National Science Foundation announced it has awarded a total of more than $7 million to Carnegie Mellon researchers in the latest round of grants for the initiative -- a multi-agency effort to develop robots that can work with humans to extend and augment human skills. U.S. President Barack Obama announced the National Robotics Initiative at Carnegie Mellon in 2011.

"The great promise of robots is to extend human skills and enhance human lives," said Matt Mason, director of the Carnegie Mellon Robotics Institute. "The National Robotics Initiative is helping researchers here at Carnegie Mellon and across the country make that promise a reality."

Among the new projects is a large, multi-university, interdisciplinary effort led by Sanjiv Singh, research professor in the Robotics Institute, to develop an autonomous robotic inspection assistant. The goal is to improve the assessment of aging bridges and other critical infrastructure by combining human judgment with machine intelligence.

"Current inspection methods for bridges, dams and other infrastructure often require expensive, specialized equipment and are potentially dangerous for inspectors who must reach difficult-to-access areas," Singh said. "This project will use small, low-flying robots, coupled with 3D imaging and advanced planning, modeling and analysis, to provide safe, efficient and high-precision assessment of critical infrastructure."

In addition to other members of the Robotics Institute, the three-year, $2.3 million project will include researchers in the departments of Civil and Environmental Engineering at CMU and Nor
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Contact: Byron Spice
bspice@cs.cmu.edu
412-268-9068
Carnegie Mellon University
Source:Eurekalert  

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National Robotics Initiative Awards provide $7 million for Carnegie Mellon research projects
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