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Nearly $50 million in research funding awarded by NSF
Date:9/17/2012

The National Science Foundation (NSF), in partnership with NASA, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), today awarded just under $50 million to grantees around the country for the development and use of robots that cooperatively work with people and enhance individual human capabilities, performance and safety.

These mark the first round of awards of the Obama Administration's National Robotics Initiative (NRI) launched with NSF as the lead federal agency just over a year ago as part of the president's Advanced Manufacturing Partnership Initiative. NSF itself is announcing 31 of the awards totaling nearly $30 million.

Funded projects target the creation of next-generation collaborative robots, or co-robots, with applications in areas such as advanced manufacturing; civil and environmental infrastructure; health care and rehabilitation; military and homeland security; space and undersea exploration; food production, processing and distribution; assistive devices for improving independence and quality of life; and safer driving. Examples of co-robots envisioned include the co-worker in manufacturing, the co-protector in civilian and military venues, and the co-inhabitant assistant in the home of an elder living independently.

Last year, NSF issued a solicitation and managed the merit review process for more than 700 individual proposals requesting over $1 billion in funding. NSF's Directorates for Computer and Information Science and Engineering; Engineering; Education and Human Resources; and Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences worked collaboratively with the other agencies. Together, NSF, NASA, NIH and USDA participated in the review process and in all funding decisions.

Each agency applied the goals of NRI against its mission criteria: encouraging robotics research and technology development to enhance aeronautics and space missions for NASA; developing robotic appl
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Contact: Lisa-Joy Zgorski
lisajoy@nsf.gov
703-292-8311
National Science Foundation
Source:Eurekalert  

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