US National Programs

This session will include presentations on NSF funding opportunities of interest to the robotics community. The cross-Directorate robotics core program Foundational Research in Robotics (FRR) was founded in 2020 to eliminate artificial distinctions between the engineering and computer science elements of robotics, and to support a broad base of community-driven innovation in robotics. Program officers Irina Dolinskaya, Erion Plaku, and Juan Wachs will present the goals of the FRR program and provide an overview of other robotics-relevant NSF programs.

It was recently announced that the National Robotics Initiative (NRI) -- which has been NSF’s  flagship robotics program for over a decade -- will be sunset. NSF program officers will also discuss the implications of the NRI sunset on support for robotics at NSF and offer guidance for prospective researchers. NSF remains committed to supporting and growing a thriving robotics research community. The FRR program will now provide a single home for foundational research in robotics across NSF. FRR welcomes proposals on a broad spectrum of foundational research in robotics, including the topics of collaborative robotics and integration in robotics that were previously supported by NRI.

Finally Jordan Berg will describe the role of robotics in the Future of Work at the Human-Technology Frontier: Core Research (FW-HTF) program. For better or worse, robotics technology has enormous potential to disrupt the future of jobs and work. FW-HTF supports fundamental robotics research that integrates consideration of future worker quality of life, as well as incorporating focused questions of social and economic context.

Following the presentations, NSF program officers will take questions from the audience. More information about the robotics programs at NSF can be found at the Robotics@NSF website