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LINGUIST List 22.3035

Wed Jul 27 2011

FYI: National Robotics Initiative

Editor for this issue: Brent Miller <brentlinguistlist.org>

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        1.     D Terence Langendoen , National Robotics Initiative

Message 1: National Robotics Initiative
Date: 27-Jul-2011
From: D Terence Langendoen <dlangendnsf.gov>
Subject: National Robotics Initiative
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The National Science Foundation (NSF) announced the National Robotics
Initiative at
http://www.nsf.gov/publications/pub_summ.jsp?org=ENG&ods_key=nsf11553 on 24
June; the solicitation is unusual in that it involves collaboration with
the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the United States Department of
Agriculture (USDA) and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration
(NASA). Letters of Intent are required, and are due on 1 October for small
proposals ($100K to $250K per year in direct costs for up to 5 years) and
15 December for ''group large'' proposals (from $250K to $1M per year in
direct costs for up to 5 years, not to exceed $1.5M per year in total
costs). The full proposal deadline is 3 November for smalls and 18 January
2012 for group larges. It provides an unusual funding opportunity for
linguists and other cognitive scientists to collaborate with roboticists.
The goal of the solicitation is ''accelerate the development and use of
robots in the United States that work beside, or cooperatively with,
people''; such robots are referred to in the solicitation as ''co-robots''.
It lists eleven ''aims'', two of which are:

• Pursue fundamental research in robotics science and technology and in
supporting specialties in machine cognition, language understanding and
production, human-robot interaction, perception, systems and other
disciplines relevant to co-robot capability and performance.

• Explore how co-robotics designs can be enhanced by leveraging and
integrating our understanding of human cognition, perception, action
control, linguistics, and developmental science.

It also lists six ''fundamental research topics'', three of which are:

• Problem solving architectures that integrate reasoning, motor,
perceptual, and language capabilities and that can learn from experience.

• Hybrid architectures that integrate or combine different methods, such as
deductive, probabilistic, analogical, case-based, symbolic, or sub-symbolic

• Computational models of human cognition, perception, and communication
for commonsense or specialized domains and tasks, including acquisition and
representation of contextual knowledge.

The solicitation is more complex than usual for NSF, in part because of the
partnership with other agencies, and interested parties should read it

Linguistic Field(s): Cognitive Science; Computational Linguistics

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