Past Events:


4 NOVEMBER: ROBOTICS & INVENTORS: Ingredients for a Successful, Innovative Economy
Briefing in conjunction with the Congressional Inventions Caucus


29 APRIL: ROBOTICS IN INFRASTRUCTURE: Reimagining Energy, Water, & Transportation Monitoring and Maintenance with Intelligent



ROBOTS FOR GOOD: Humanitarian, Environmental, Educational, Medical, and Search &  Rescue Uses of Robotics Technology

Of Interest:  August 2013: National Geographic, Innovation at Work, Photographing Lions Using Drones and Robots


25 JULY: Robotics Roadmap 2.0

9 JULY: A Revolution in Prosthetics

20 MARCH: Harnessing New Robotics Technologies for Job Creation


25 JULY: Driverless Cars: the Next Generation of Mobility

General Motors introduced automated vehicles in 1939; in 1997 the US Department of Transportation sponsored a demonstration of automated vehicle capacity; and in the next decade, DARPA took up the charge with the Grand and Urban Challenges.

Guest Speakers:      


John Maddox, Associate Administrator for Vehicle Safety Research, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration - John addressed policy and regulations and the many challenges faced so that automated vehicles can become “better than humans” with regard to increasing safety and mobility of our transportation systems. He provided insight into newly a defined automated driving research program that spans the next 10 years, and discussed why automation is a worthy goal with great potential for improving vehicle safety and other transportation goals. John is formerly with Volkswagen as a compliance officer and prior to that, a senior research engineer for the Ford Motor Company. He holds a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Maryland, and an M.S. in Engineering Management from the University of Detroit Mercy.


Dr. Scott Fish, Army Chief Scientist at US Army, and Director, Integration, University of Texas at Austin - Scott discussed the Army's science and technology efforts related to unmanned systems and where current trends could lead for bringing new capability to soldiers. Significant advances in sensors, perception, machine learning, compact processing, and associated networked communications have made it possible to demonstrate how unmanned prototypes are able to transport cargo, search for explosives and track designated targets. Prior to his current assignment, Scott held positions at the University of Texas at Austin, SAIC, DARPA and the Naval Surface Warfare Center.


14 SEPTEMBER: THE NATIONAL ROBOTICS INITIATIVE: From Manufacturing to Medicine to Mars:  Robotics Research to Transform US Industry, Jobs and the Economy

The Robotics Caucus is pleased to welcome Members and staff to a lunch briefing on Friday, September 14, to hear program directors from NSF, NIH, NASA and the USDA discuss the recent round of grants awarded under the National Robotics Initiative (NRI), the nation's first multi-agency coordinated research program in robotics.


Just over one year ago, President Obama announced the National Robotics Initiative (NRI) as part of a broader Advanced Manufacturing Partnership initiative with the ambitious goal of spurring a renaissance in US manufacturing.   The NRI received hundreds of applications and will be supporting projects around the country.  The stated goals of the NRI are:

  • Increase the productivity of workers in the manufacturing sector;
  • Assist astronauts in dangerous and expensive missions;
  • Help scientists accelerate the discovery of new, life-saving drugs; and
  • Improve food safety by rapidly sensing microbial contamination.

By engaging industry and scientists across the US in undertaking this robotics-focused, cross-sector research effort, we are helping to push the fields of electronics, mathematics, computer and engineering past a critical threshold of technological development into a new era in which an explosion of innovations will transform the way we work, make things, travel, deliver healthcare, and grow food, as well as applications we can only begin to imagine as this technological revolution unfolds.

Following opening remarks from Caucus Co-Chairs Mike Doyle (PA) and Phil Gingrey (GA), a panel discussion among agency leads covered technology areas, and described key examples of funded projects and their potential impact. The panel included:


Dr. Farnam Jahanian

Director, Computer and Information Science and Engineering, National Science Foundation



Dr. Richard Voyles

Program Director, National Robotics Initiative, Robust Intelligence, and Innovation Corps


Dr. Daniel Schmoldt

National Program Leader, Division of Agricultural Systems, National Institute of Food and Agriculture


Dr. Robert Ambrose
Principal Investigator, Game Changing Development Program, NASA Office of Chief Technologist



Drew Greenblatt, President of Marlin Steel Wire Products, Baltimore, MD, and Curtis Richardson of Spirit AeroSystems, the world's largest Tier 1 aerostructures and systems supplier, were the speakers for this briefing that focused on the President’s newly launched Advanced Manufacturing Partnership, a national effort bringing together industry, universities, and the Federal Government to invest in the emerging technologies that will create high quality manufacturing jobs and enhance our global competitiveness.


Jon Dudas, President, FIRST® Mr. Dudas was appointed President of FIRST® in June 2010He has 14 years of service with the U.S. Government culminating with his role as Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) from 2004 to 2009. Prior to his Under Secretary role, Jon held several senior staff positions for the House of Representatives. Dudas most recently was a partner with the law firm Foley & Lardner LLC, specializing in intellectual property strategy and policy. He started his career in private legal practice in Chicago. He received his law degree, with honors, from the University of Chicago and a bachelor's degree in finance, summa cum laude, from the University of Illinois. Jon resides with his wife and four children in New Hampshire.

Dr. Francis Q. Eberle, Executive Director, NSTA NSTA is the largest organization in the world promoting excellence and innovation in science teaching and learning for all. As a leader in science education, Dr. Eberle oversees NSTA efforts to engage teachers of science nationwide and improve student learning in the sciences by providing products, services, and programs. He also directs NSTA's $43 million, five-year effort to create a national Center for Science Education (CSE) that will promote science literacy, produce the next generation of science education standards, and create a state-of-the-art facility that will allow science educators nationwide to engage in leadership and content-based learning opportunities.

Dr. Eberle was formerly the executive director of the Maine Mathematics and Science Alliance (MMSA), an adjunct faculty member of the University of Southern Maine, founder and executive director of the STAR Foundation, and a classroom teacher. He is a renowned researcher in the science education community and has published extensively for the science and mathematics communities. He has served on many boards and has received many recognitions and awards.

Dr. Eberle holds a doctorate in educational studies from Lesley University, a master's degree in educational psychology from the University of Connecticut, and a bachelor's degree in science education from Boston University.

An aspiring robotics engineer interacts with Keepon,

a robot designed to study social development by interacting with children.

Keepon was one of many robots displayed at a 2009 Caucus briefing.


Last Updated: April 27, 2016


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