2016 Event: Expo & Briefing

The National Robotics Initiative:
Marking 5 Years of the Multi-agency Effort to Accelerate the Development and Use of Robots That Work Beside or Cooperatively with People

Thursday, 9 June 2016
B339 Rayburn House Office Building


12:30 - 2pm

Luncheon Discussion Panel


2 - 4 pm

Open House - Meet the NRI Recipients


4:30pm - 6:00pm
Reception and interactive displays


The NRI has supported development of the next generation of robotics - advancing the capability and usability of collaborative robots - and has encouraged existing and new communities to focus on innovative application areas. The program led to many breakthroughs in basic robotics R&D and has helped unify the community, spurring intellectual and economic growth in the field.

This event will highlight some of the advances that the NRI stimulated, and discuss the importance of U.S. leadership in robotics for economic prosperity, national security, and improved quality of life.

National Science Foundation: Special Robotics Report
Generation Robot (video)


Dear Colleague Letter (pending)




Congressional Robotics Caucus Co-Chairs
Congressman Rob Woodall,  Congressman Mike Doyle




Dr. Martial Hebert, The Robotics Institute, Carnegie Mellon University - Moderator


Dr. Robert Atkinson, President, Information Technology and Innovation Foundation


Dr. Henrik Christensen, Institute for Robotics and Intelligent Machines, Georgia Tech University; Fellow, IEEE Robotics & Automation Society


Dr. Lynne Parker, Division Director, Information and Intelligent Systems, Computer & Information Science and Engineering Directorate; and Head, NRI Interagency Working Group on Robotics, National Science Foundation


Jeff Burnstein, President of the Robotic Industries Association




Meet the Principal Investigators (PI), those individuals with primary responsibility for achieving the technical success of the NRI-funded projects:


Department of Energy, Environmental Management


Department of Defense DARPA Challenge


National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), Robotic Systems for Smart Manufacturing Program, Department of Commerce


Agency representatives include: Elena Messina, group leader of the Manipulation & Mobility Systems Group; Joe Falco, research engineer Karl Van Wyk, research engineer; Jeremy Marvel, project leader


Showcasing test methods and artifacts for measuring the performance of robotic hands and collaborative manufacturing robots. Metrics and test methods are developed in collaboration with researchers and industrial users to help reduce the risk of adopting new technologies and to direct innovation towards addressing highest priority needs.


Dr. Aaron Becker, University of Houston

"Microrobotic swarms," Robotic manipulation at micro- and nano-scales used to treat diseases.  The controllers learn from collected human-user data. Participate at the citizen-science site SwarmControl.net



Dr. Howie Choset, Carnegie Mellon University

A novel, highly articulated robotic probe (HARP) to enable minimally invasive intrapericardial therapeutic delivery through a subxiphoid approach. HARP is a robotic surgical system having an articulated design to provide unlimited but controllable flexibility.


Dr. Vijay Kumar,  Dr. Camillo J. Taylor, Dr. Jnaneshwar Das,GRASP Laboratory, University of Pennsylvania

Dr. Reza Ehsani, Citrus Research and Education Center, University of Florida


We are developing smart robotic systems to improve the efficiency and yield of farm operations. Our goal is to provide growers with a data-driven deployment strategy that makes synergistic use of a networked robotic system working interactively with a human scout.


Robot Scouts for Precision Agriculture (video)


Dr. Aaron Ames, GA Tech, Dr. Jessy Grizzle, University of Michigan, and Dr. Koushil Sreenath, Carnegie Mellon University


Bi-pedal robots


AMBER-Lab YouTube channel


Dr. Satyandra K. Gupta, University of Southern California


Robo Raven (video) - Complete individual wing control allows aerobatics such as back flips and dives, previously not possible with mechanical birds.

Dr. Greg Hager, Johns Hopkins

CoSTAR (video): A Collaborative System for Task Automation and Recognition, a system for allowing end-users to create complex, perceptive robot programs that allow small manufacturers to quickly changeover production. CoSTAR combines intuitive teaching with robust vision-based perception of objects and workspace. We will demonstrate tasks programmed on-site using our graphical user interface in less than half an hour.



Dr. Robert MacCurdy, MIT

Printable Hydraulics - a new method for automatically fabricating robots. Multi-material additive-manufacturing (3D printing) techniques offering a compelling alternative to conventional rigid and soft robot fabrication techniques.

Demonstrations of brain-machine interface (UH), robotics (Rice) and clinical application at UT Health


Dr. Marcie O’Malley, Rice University; Dr. Jose-Luis Contreras Vidal, Cullen College of Engineering, University of Houston; and Dr. Gerard Francisco, Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, University of Texas Health Science Center (UTHealth)


Mechatronics and Haptic Interfaces Lab (MAHI) - BMI-controlled exoskeleton (project)(photo) –"mind-controlled robots," detecting human movement intent in stroke survivors for engagement in robotic rehabilitation.


Co-PI: Nuray Yozbatiran, PT, PhD

Students: Jenny Sullivan and Nikunj Bhagat, University of Houston

Video: Rice robotics team helps stroke victims with experimental therapy


Mr. Josip Markus, Director, Business Development


Ms. Leslie VanHiel, PT, DScPT — Physical Therapist

Mr. Ryan Austin Reese, U.S. Navy/Senior Chief Petty Officer, Retired — Ambassador


Ekso Bionics, Richmond, CA

Exoskeleton solutions that amplify human potential by supporting or enhancing strength, endurance and mobility.



Dr. Andrew Williams, Marquette University, Milwaukee, WI

Director, Humanoid Engineering & Intelligent Robotics (HEIR) Lab

Co-Robots for COMPUGIRLS; and Humanoid Co-Robotics Curriculum and Kits for Girls and Boys

TEDx: Belonging in Technology: What I learned from Steve Jobs


Students: Kathleen Baert and Adrianna Williams


Humanoid Robotics | Social Innovation (video)


Tyr Wiesner-Hanks, School of Integrative Plant Science, Cornell University


James Clohessy, The Gore Lab, Cornell University


Deep Learning Unmanned Aircraft Systems for High-Throughput Agricultural Disease Phenotyping


--This project is a collaboration between the labs of Hod Lipson (Columbia University), Rebecca Nelson (Cornell University), and Michael Gore (Cornell University), bringing together experts in machine learning, agricultural remote sensing, plant pathology, and plant genetics.



Dr. Cang Ye, University of Arkansas at Little Rock


Co-robotic Cane will make daily travel of a visually impaired individual easier, safer, and more efficient. The cane provides wayfinding and 3D object detection functions to its user and collaborates with the user in accomplishing a navigation task.



Last Updated: 08 June 2016



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