FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
9 A.M. EDT, October 4, 2011
Contact: Matt Henderson
Phone: (717) 299-7130
ARLINGTON, VA, AUGUST 4, 2011: A panel of the United States’ top robotic experts will present their findings from a study tour of top Asian labs in a workshop to be held at the National Science Foundation (NSF) on Friday, December 2, 2011.
With sponsorship from NSF, the six-member WTEC Human-Robot Interaction study panel will tour more than a dozen labs in Japan, six in Korea, and will have a joint workshop in Beijing during the week of October 16, 2011.
The purpose is to guide and justify U.S. research & development in light of what is going on in other countries. “We want to see where the U.S. fits in the global perspective,” NSF’s Ted Conway explained at the study’s May 11 kickoff meeting.
It is not a merely academic exercise. “The emphasis… is on where exciting things are going on and where there should be investment,” noted Ephraim Glinert, also of NSF.
New breakthroughs appear likely to revolutionize human-machine interactions in a variety of settings, including healthcare, rehabilitation, education, entertainment, business, manufacturing – even military. The panel will discuss the latest developments in many of these areas and their implications for U.S. policymakers when they issue their report on December 2.
“How will robotics help with economic competitiveness and job creation?” asked Dr. Frank Huband, Director of WTEC’s International division.
That very issue is receiving attention from the highest levels of government. President Barack Obama recently visited Carnegie Mellon University’s National Robotics Engineering Center to announce a $70 million U.S. Robotics Initiative.
Obama stressed the importance of American manufacturing and business leadership in order to create and retain jobs, stimulate economic growth, and compete on the world stage.
The WTEC Human-Robot Interaction panel is chaired by Dr. Manuela Veloso of Carnegie Mellon University. Also on the panel are Mindy Aisen of the University of Southern California, Ayanna Howard of the Georgia Institute of Technology, Chad Jenkins of Brown University, Bilge Mutlu of the University of Wisconsin, and Brian Scassellati of Yale University.
The December 2 workshop will be held from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. in Room 555 of the National Science Foundation’s Stafford II building at 4201 Wilson Blvd. in Arlington, VA. The workshop is free, but space is limited, so registration at wtec.org is required. The workshop will also be webcast by TV Worldwide (http://www.tvworldwide.com).
For more information, please visit the HRI study’s webpage at http://www.wtec.org/HRI
The World Technology Evaluation Center is the nation’s leading organization in conducting international technology assessments via peer review. WTEC has conducted over 60 such studies since 1989 under grants from a variety of federal agencies. For more information, visit http://www.wtec.org.