An Initiative to Create an American Robotics Network

Posted 16 Feb 2011 at 04:48 UTC (updated 16 Feb 2011 at 05:04 UTC) by John_RobotsPodcast Share This

On January 22nd, Professor Henrik Christensen of Georgia Tech posed the question Are we ready for an American Robotics Network, saying that he had started a discussion regarding the organization of an American Robotics Network. He has also discussed the formation of such a network in a brief essay. In the recent blog post, he says I would like to get this underway as soon as possible to make sure that we can leverage the momentum from a National Robotics Initiative. First among the tasks to be entrusted to such an organization, he lists maintaining the roadmap and promoting it to agencies. More about Christensen, the roadmap, and the network after the break.

The roadmap, to which Professor Christensen refers, got its start in 2006, at a one-day workshop titled Science and Technology Challenges for Robotics organized by George Bekey of USC, Vijay Kumar of UPenn, and Matthew Mason of CMU. A summary report of that workshop states There was an enthusiastic response to the workshop with over 85 participants. [...] There were many volunteers who were ready to take on more responsibilities to promote the discipline. (Vijay Kumar was recently mentioned on in connection with quadrotors cooperating on a construction project.)

Professor Christensen was a panelist at that workshop and later collaborated with Matthew Mason on an essay which summarized the state of robotics and previewed the findings of the collective effort to produce a robotics roadmap. The final report A Roadmap for US Robotics, From Internet to Robotics was presented in May, 2009, before the Congressional Robotics Caucus, however, in the effort to produce that report, the call for the formation of an American Robotics Network (9th slide) appears to have slipped to the back burner. Christensen is seeking to renew that endeavor.

Before occupying the KUKA Chair of Robotics at Georgia Tech's College of Computing, Professor Christensen was the founding Chairman of EURON, the European Robotics Research Network. He has recently been awarded the 2011 Engelberger Award for Education.

Originally found on Robotland.

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