Proposals addressing robot intelligence and experiential learning, particularly those in the areas of high-performance processors or hardware to provide situational awareness, and improved artificial intelligence, are welcome. Innovations in voice, obstacle and image recognition, emotional response, and hand-eye coordination are encouraged. We encourage proposals describing projects that borrow features from other animal nervous systems and include biologists, neuroscientists, and/or psychologists on their team to exploit new knowledge in the study of the brain and behavior. NSF also seeks proposals that address next-generation automation, the flexible and rapid reconfiguration of assembly lines allowing mass customization, the use of advanced control, scheduling, modularization, and decentralization with agile, mobile robotic systems that can enable the cost-effective manufacture of small lot-size products, and on-demand parts manufacturing. Proposals to support the physical and educational needs of individuals with disabilities (e.g., vision, hearing, cognitive, motor related) are sought. Robotic applications in healthcare, smart drones and drone networks are appropriate. Medical devices that provide new capabilities to doctors including surgery; robotic exoskeletons to enhance human strength; personal robots with an emphasis on human-centered end use and interaction, personal caregiving and increased autonomy; and robots of augmentation are welcome.
R1. Human Assistive Technologies and Bio-related Robotics
R2. Human-Machine Interfaces and Control/Architecture
R3. Robotic Applications
R4. Robotics in Agile Manufacturing, and Co-Robots
R5. Robotics in Education
Note: Applicants interested in proposing education-related projects that align with our program goals and criteria, but which are not related to AI, IT, or robotics, are welcome to submit their concepts under “Other Topics.”