National Robotics Initiative (NRI) Releases FY 2020 Project Solicitation
The National Robotics Initiative 2.0: Ubiquitous Collaborative Robots (NRI-2.0) will be accepting applications for Fiscal Year (FY) 2020 projects between February 12 and February 26, 2020. The NRI-2.0 program supports fundamental research to accelerate the development and use of collaborative robots (co-robot). 40 to 60 awards totaling $22,000,000 to $32,000,000 will be made each year, subject to the availability of funds. Foundational projects will range from $250,000 to $750,000 in total costs for up to three years, while integrative projects will range from $250,000 to $1,500,000 in total costs for up to four years.
The FY 2020 solicitation was recently released with 8 updates:
- Revised deadline of applications: February 12-February 26, 2020
- The definition of co-robot has been updated: A co-robot will now be defined as a robot whose main purpose is to work with people or other robots to accomplish a goal. An ideal co-robot is an adaptable partner, not limited to a narrow set of specified interactions or functions, but able to significantly enhance team performance despite changes in its role, its teammates, or the team’s collective goals.
- The definitions of the themes have been updated: The program supports four main research themes that advance the goal, including scalability, customizability, lowering barriers to entry, and societal impact. A definition for each is provided in the solicitation.
- The lower funding bound of INT projects has changed: Integrative (INT) projects focus on research in the innovative integration of technologies leading to complete co-robotic systems and will be in the range of $250,000 to $1,500,000.
- NASA will only consider projects that are within its stated cost limits: $150,000 to $300,000 per year.
- USDA/NIFA will only consider projects that are within its stated cost limits: $150,000 to $300,000 per year.
- The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has been added as a partner organization.
- The Department of Energy and the Department of Defense have been removed as partner organizations.
To view the full solicitation please visit: https://www.nsf.gov/pubs/2020/nsf20522/nsf20522.htm?WT.mc_id=USNSF_25&WT.mc_ev=click.