The goal of the National Robotics Initiative (NRI) is to support fundamental research that will accelerate the development and use of robots in the United States that work beside or cooperatively with people.
The original NRI program focused on innovative robotics research that emphasized the
realization of collaborative robots (co-robots) working in symbiotic relationships with human partners.
The NRI- 2. 0 program significantly extends this theme to focus on issues of scalability:
how teams of multiple robots and multiple humans can interact and collaborate effectively; how robots can be designed to facilitate achievement of a variety of tasks in a variety of environments, with minimal modification to the hardware and software; how robots can learn to perform more effectively and efficiently, using large pools of information from the cloud, other robots, and other people; and how the design of the robots’ hardware and software can facilitate large-scale, reliable operation.
In addition, the program supports innovative approaches to establish and infuse robotics into educational curricula, advance the robotics workforce through education pathways, and explore the social, behavioral, and economic implications of our future with ubiquitous collaborative robots.
Collaboration between academic, industry, non-profit, and other organizations is encouraged to establish better linkages between fundamental science and engineering and technology development, deployment and use.
Well-justified international collaborations that add significant value to the proposed research and education activities will also be considered.
<p class="MsoNoSpacing">The NRI- 2. 0 program is supported by multiple agencies of the federal government including the National Science Foundation (NSF), the U. S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the U. S. Department of Energy (DOE), and the U. S. Department of Defense (DOD).
Questions concerning a particular project's focus, direction and relevance to a participating funding organization should be addressed to that agency’s point of contact listed in section VIII of this solicitation.