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Press Release 13-179

National Robotics Initiative invests $38 million in next-generation robotics

NSF, NIH, USDA and NASA fund development of robots that collaborate with humans for enhanced productivity

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Simon the robot, developed by Georgia Tech researcher Andrea Thomaz

Simon the robot was developed by Georgia Tech researcher Andrea Thomaz, whose research is funded by NSF. Using Simon as her student, Thomaz is redefining how robots and humans interact. She sees a future where any "naive user" (or nonprogrammer) could buy a robot, take it home and instruct it to do almost anything. But for this to work, robots need to think like naive users. So Thomaz invites folks from off the street to teach Simon at her Georgia Tech lab. Lessons include everything from clearing the dinner table to sorting objects by color. Based on the results, Thomaz tweaks Simon's algorithms to make him a more efficient communicator and learner.

Credit: Georgia Tech


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Photo of a small, autonomous rotorcraft  that cab inspect bridges

Small, autonomous rotorcraft such as this would be used to inspect bridges and other critical infrastructure in a research project led by roboticists at Carnegie Mellon University.

Credit: Luke Yoder, The Robotics Institute, Carnegie Mellon University


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Screenshot of the web browser interface for RobotsFor.Me.

Example of the web browser interface for RobotsFor.Me.

Credit: Sonia Chernova, Worcester Polytechnic Institute


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