Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Critical National Needs Served by Robotics

"Robotics is a tremendous tool for getting kids excited about math and science" said Tandy Trower, the Head of Microsoft's Robotics Studio Group. Tandy spoke at a private members-only meeting of the MassTLC Robotics Cluster on April 14th at Microsoft in Cambridge. Tandy provided a background briefing on key trends in robotics technology and adoption highlighting strategic areas of huge potential such as assistive care for aging populations. Tandy added, "There is significant investment around the world in robotics innovation. There is no major economy in the world that does not have robotics on its economic agenda." See Tandy Trower's presentation - http://www.masstlc.org/tandytrowerMassTLC.pdf.

The meeting was a special briefing organized by the MassTLC Robotics Cluster for Marc Stanley, the Director of the National Institute of Standards Technology's (NIST) Technology Innovation Program (TIP). The TIP Program funds research projects that advance innovation in high risk-high reward in areas of critical national need. TIP currently has a call for white papers to define new areas of critical national need.

Members of the Cluster briefed Marc Stanley and Chuck Bartholomew from NIST on advances in robotics innovation and commercialization as well as key technical limiting factors such the need for light weight, long-lasting power supplies. Marc Stanley briefed the Cluster members on the TIP program's interests and the opportunity for the Mass robotics community to compete for NIST-TIP funding for competitions this year. See Marc Stanley's 4/14 presentation - http://www.masstlc.org/MTLC_TIP_presentation090421.pdf.

Currently several white papers are being developed for submission to NIST-TIP by leaders in the Mass TLC Robotics Cluster that will highlight the strategic role robotics technology can play in addressing areas of critical national need.

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