Robots: An exhibition of US automatons from the leading edge of research

09/06/05

Machines highlight the WTEC International Study of Robotics

On Sept. 16, the National Science Foundation (NSF) will host more than a dozen robots and their creators to showcase advanced robotics technology from across the nation.

From a learning humanoid head to a full-scale mockup of the Mars Exploration Rover, robots will spend the day flying, hopping, scooting and just showing off.

The robots are here to highlight U.S.-funded robotics research and the findings of a new study, the World Technology Evaluation Center International Study of Robotics. The report culminates a nearly 2-year effort to evaluate robotics research and development in the United States, Japan, Korea and Western Europe.

The findings for the United States are not all positive. U.S. researchers have developed advanced robotics, but national strategies and coordinated funding efforts in other countries pose a serious challenge to U.S. competitiveness. While our nation leads in such areas as robot-assisted surgery and mobile, space robots, foreign laboratories are developing the state-of-the-art service and industrial robots -- in some cases overtaking the United States in fields we once dominated.

Similar trends exist across the six different categories of the report: Robotic Vehicles; Space Robotics; Industrial, Service and Personal Robots; Humanoid Robots; Robotics in Biology and Medicine; and Networked Robots.

Sponsored by NSF, NASA and the National Institutes of Health, the report was drafted by a panel of six robotics experts who visited more than 50 research sites across the globe.

A daylong workshop will present the detailed report findings, while a webcast media briefing will provide a concise summary for the media. Panel chair George Bekey, of the University of Southern California, will present the summary, after which all six panelists will be available to answer questions.

Researchers will demonstrate robots exclusively to the media beginning at 1:00 p.m., with all rooms opening for media previews at 11:30 a.m. The demonstrations, including opportunities for visitors to control some of the robots, are open to the public from 2:30 - 5:00 p.m.

Report details will be available in a press packet, as will broadcast-quality b-roll and high-resolution still images. Due to space limitations, please register in advance. Please contact Josh Chamot, NSF Media Officer for Engineering, at jchamot@nsf.gov or (703) 292-7730.

Exhibit descriptions, webcast information, images and other event materials can be found at: http://www.nsf.gov/news/newsmedia/robotics05/index.jsp

What: News briefing and demonstrations highlighting U.S. robotics R&D and the WTEC International Study of Robotics

Who: George Bekey, University of Southern California
Robert Ambrose, NASA/JSC
Vijay Kumar, University of Pennsylvania
Art Sanderson, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Brian Wilcox, NASA/JPL
Yuan Zheng, Ohio State University

When: Friday, Sept. 16, 2005
Preview: 11:30 a.m.
Webcast Briefing: 12:00 - 1:00 p.m.
Media Demonstrations: 1:00 - 2:30 p.m.
Public Demonstrations: 2:30 - 5:00 p.m.
WTEC Workshop: 8:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.

Where: National Science Foundation
4201 Wilson Blvd.
Arlington, VA 22230 (Ballston Metro stop)
Enter at corner of 9th & Stuart.

Briefing will be held in Room 110
(No security check-in for briefing and demonstrations).
Demonstrations will be held in Room 120 and the NSF Atrium.
WTEC Workshop will be held in the NSB Boardroom, Room 1235.

Source: Eurekalert & others

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