A Roadmap for U.S. Robotics – 2013 edition

March 20, 2013.  Washington, D.C. — Today, the Robotics Caucus Advisory Committee of the U.S. Congress hosted a briefing to present A Roadmap for U.S. Robotics: From Internet to Robotics–2013 edition.
Building on the highly successful initial Roadmap for U.S. Robotics, which was published in 2009 and inspired the National Robotics Initiative (NRI), announced by President Obama on June 24th 2011, the updated report outlines the progress of robots in multiple industries over the last five years, identifies goals for the coming decade and emphasizes the importance of the robotics research pipeline to maintaining U.S. innovation. Following the President’s announcement, in 2012, the National Science Foundation (NSF), the National Institutes of Health (NIH), National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) jointly established a new NRI research program. Together, the agencies issued a solicitation of over $50 million to develop the science and technology for robots that can safely co-exist and operate in close proximity to humans.
Highlighting robotics as a key economic enabler, the roadmap discusses the potential of robotics technology to transform U.S. society by developing new markets and industries, creating new jobs, and addressing a number of issues of national importance.
Dr. Henrik I. Christensen, one of America’s leading robotics researchers and Georgia Tech’s KUKA Chair of Robotics in the College of Computing, presented the report as a guide for lawmakers on how to allocate resources to maximize progress in revitalizing manufacturing, transforming healthcare and developing new applications.
“Robots have the potential to bring manufacturing jobs back to the U.S., to improve our quality of life and to make sure our first responders and warfighters stay safe,” said Christensen. “We hope this report will help foster the discussion on how we can build partnerships and allocate resources to move the robotics industry forward.”
Following Christensen’s presentation, leaders from three of America’s top robotics firms, also presented:

  • Manufacturing—Rodney Brooks, Rethink Robotics
    (Maker of Baxter, the factory floor co-worker robot that learns)
  • Logistics—Pete Wurman, Kiva Systems
    (The reason Amazon and Zappos can ship your order so soon)
  • Healthcare—Russ Angold, Ekso Bionics

    (A leader in exoskeleton development, which helps the paralyzed to walk again)

The Office of Science and Technology
A Roadmap for U.S. Robotics: From Internet to Robotics–2013 edition can be viewed here.