The National Science Foundation (NSF) on September 11th issued a grants notice for the “National Robotics Initiative” (NRI) with an estimated program funding of $50,000,000 with the award ceiling of $5,000,000. The goal for NRI is to accelerate the development and use of robots in the U.S and develop the next generation of robotics.
NIH supports the development of robotic applications for surgery, health interventions, prostheses, rehabilitation, behavioral therapy, personalized care, and wellness and health promotion. The most significant challenges will be to address safety issues especially for applications to be used in home and surgical settings where integration of complex systems will be required.
Human assistive devices will revolutionize healthcare in the next 20 years as much as personal electronics have changed our daily lives in the past two decades. Human assistive devices have the potential to improve healthcare and promote independent living by providing assistance to healthcare providers and to individuals needing the care.
Robotic applications will be able to provide:
· Home care and/or personalized care for special-needs populations
· Improvement in surgical procedures
· Robotic wellness/health promotion
· Robot-assisted recovery and rehabilitation
· Robotic behavioral therapy
· Surgical and interventional robots
· Robotic replacement of diminished or lost functions
· High throughput robotic technologies.
Eligibility for the funding is available to universities and colleges, non-profit and non-academic organizations, for-profit organizations, state and local governments, unaffiliated individuals, foreign organizations, and other federal agencies and federally funded R&D centers.