National Robotics Initiative strives to develop machines that can work alongside humans in Mars exploration and other areas.
Defense Robots: Fast, Flexible, And Tough
(click image for larger view and for slideshow)
NASA is investing $2.7 million to kick off eight advanced robotics projects aimed at improving robot technology as part of its long-term goal of putting a human on Mars.
The projects, part of the White House's National Robotics Initiative, are tied to NASA's plans for an asteroid mission in 2025 and human exploration of Mars around 2035. The National Science Foundation managed the solicitation for the project proposals, each of which will receive between $150,000 and $1 million in funding.
NASA selected eight proposals from U.S. universities. The proposals include development of human avatar robots capable of exploring hazardous environments; active skins for tactile feedback; "tele-manipulation" of humanoid robots on rough terrain; and long, thin continuum robots.
The research will tackle challenges in "co-robotics," where robots assist and perform functions alongside humans.
"Where robots were once kept in cages and separated from people, we are now seeing robots built to co-exist with humans, helping people at work and throughout society," NASA said on its National Robotics Initiative (NRI) website. "The NRI is targeting these new machines that will work with humans as co-workers, co-explorers, co-inhabitants, co-drivers, creating and capturing the new discipline of co-robotics."
NASA has placed a robot, Robonaut 2, on the International Space Station, with a goal of performing tasks that are mundane or too dangerous for astronauts. Its first job was to monitor air velocity. The agency points to Robonaut as an example of the practical ways robots can assist its missions.
The purpose of NASA's latest robotics initiative is to encourage research that combines computer and systems science with mechanical, electrical, and materials engineering and social, behavioral, and economic sciences, NASA said in a statement on the project awards. In addition to helping with space exploration, the robotics advances may have applications in manufacturing and business.
InformationWeek Government's GovCloud 2012 is a day-long event where IT professionals in federal, state, and local government will develop a deeper understanding of the options available today. IT leaders in government and other experts will share best practices and their advice on how to make the right choices. Join us for this insightful gathering of government IT executives to hear firsthand about the challenges and opportunities of cloud computing. It happens in Washington, D.C., on Oct. 17.
The Agile ArchiveWhen it comes to managing data, donít look at backup and archiving systems as burdens and cost centers. A well-designed archive can enhance data protection and restores, ease search and e-discovery efforts, and save money by intelligently moving data from expensive primary storage systems.
2014 Analytics, BI, and Information Management SurveyITís tried for years to simplify data analytics and business intelligence efforts. Have visual analysis tools and Hadoop and NoSQL databases helped? Respondents to our 2014 InformationWeek Analytics, Business Intelligence, and Information Management Survey have a mixed outlook.
Top IT Trends to Watch in Financial ServicesIT pros at banks, investment houses, insurance companies, and other financial services organizations are focused on a range of issues, from peer-to-peer lending to cybersecurity to performance, agility, and compliance. It all matters.
Join us for a roundup of the top stories on InformationWeek.com for the week of September 25, 2016. We'll be talking with the InformationWeek.com editors and correspondents who brought you the top stories of the week to get the "story behind the story."