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Five Federal Agencies Want Big Robot Technology Advances

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Five U.S. agencies recently announced plans to fund innovative research and development of robotic technologies with the goal of enriching human lives.

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) wants to develop robot motors and drives that meet or exceed the safety and efficacy of human muscles. DARPA also wants to avoid relying on exotic or expensive material or processes, and seeks approaches that exhibit the potential for low-cost manufacturing. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) wants technologies that can remotely or robotically access, diagnose, and render safe explosive devices. DHS also wants robots that can survey captured tunnels for forensic collection and mitigation. The National Institutes of Health wants robotics technologies to support and improve quality of human life, especially to help older adults to live independently and safely at home.

The National Science Foundation wants to develop robotic caregivers to help patients manage chronic diseases. Meanwhile the Department of Agriculture wants to develop automated systems for the harvesting, inspection, sorting, and handling of animal products, fruits, vegetables, and other horticultural crops.

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