Obama Announces National Robotics Initiative

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As part of a $500 million package aimed at funding homegrown innovation and high-tech jobs, the National Robotics Initiative is $70 million intended for “the development and use of robots in the United States that work beside, or cooperatively with, people.” Sounds good to me! We’ve already got enough hunter-killers and such.

President Obama announced the initiative and the rest of the Advanced Manufacturing Partnership at CMU’s National Robotics Engineering Center. We see a lot of bots coming out of Carnegie Mellon, so it’s no surprise the announcement would take place there. The Washington Post has a nice gallery of the event and the President hanging out with roboticists.

The stated goal of the NRI:

The purpose of this program is the development of this next generation of robotics, to advance the capability and usability of such systems and artifacts, and to encourage existing and new communities to focus on innovative application areas. It will address the entire life cycle from fundamental research and development to industry manufacturing and deployment. Methods for the establishment and infusion of robotics in educational curricula and research to gain a better understanding of the long term social, behavioral and economic implications of co-robots across all areas of human activity are important parts of this initiative.

Hopefully they won’t be developing robotic bloggers any time soon.

[via CNET; image credit: Gene J. Puskar / AP]