US DoD grants $3.5m to six university teams for research on robotics

The Department of Defense (DoD) has granted around $3.5m to six US university teams for study on robotics for disaster relief.

These awards are part of a joint research project which the US has agreed in June 2015 with the Republic of Korea’s Ministry of Trade, Industry, and Energy (MOTIE).

Each of the joint teams will include US performers, funded by DoD, and Korean performers, funded by MOTIE.

The aim of this study collaboration is to bring together top researchers of the two countries to develop robotics capabilities for humanitarian and disaster response and recovery missions.  

Research areas that are being funded include new platforms for search and rescue, advanced human-robot interaction for command and control, and advanced robotic perception/recognition for enhanced situational awareness.  

Among the US grant recipients and their anticipated research projects include Yong Cho of Georgia Institute of Technology for hybrid site sensing and human-multi-robot team collaboration for disaster relief at nuclear power plants; Hae-Won Park of University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign on agile, soft, and adaptable platform for humanitarian assistance and disaster relief.

The US research programme will be jointly managed by the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering, the Air Force Office of Scientific Research, and the Asian Office of Aerospace Research and Development.