So, Where’s My Robot?

Thoughts on Social Machine Learning

Robots at Congress

Lead by my colleague Henrik Christensen, there has been an effort over the past year in the robotics community to define a “roadmap” for robotics research in the US.  Supported by the Computing Community Consortium, four workshops were held that brought together representatives from industry and academia to outline the most fruitful research questions for the US to be pursuing. These discussions were centered on four focus areas: Manufacturing, Healthcare, Service Robots, and Emerging Technologies.

These discussions resulted in a concrete roadmap that outlines a research agenda for non-military robotics research.   US funding agencies have a strong history of supporting research for military robotics, but there’s been very little funding available for non-military applications.   So this is what Henrik and Co. went and told the congressional caucus on robotics on May 21st.  They presented the roadmap and made the case for US research funding to be specifically allocated for non-military robotics through such agencies as the NSF, the NIH, and others.

In addition to the presentation, there was a demo session for congressional staffers.  My student, Maya Cakmak took our interactive learning demonstration.  So, our robots have been to Congress, cool!

It has been very exciting to be a part of the roadmap discussion, and we’re all looking forward to seeing what impact it might have on future funding initiatives for robotics.

Here is an 8.5 minute summary video of Henrik’s presentation, or you can watch the full 1-hour set of presentations.


June 25th, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | no comments

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