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Congressional Robotics Caucus
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  • The Congressional Bi-Partisan Robotics Caucus, chaired by Congressman Mike Doyle (PA) and co-chaired by Congressman Phil Gingrey (GA), was formed in 2007 to focus on key issues facing the nation's robotics industry and related emerging technology. Members of Congress will learn first hand about the use of robotics in agriculture, mining, logistics, defense, education, manufacturing and healthcare.
     
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  • About us

  • The Advisory Committee's Goals
    • Increase general awareness of challenges and issues among Members of Congress and policy analysts
    • Educate Members of Congress and congressional staff on current & future research and development, and utilization initiatives
    • Serve as a forum where robotics-related policy issues can be exchanged, debated and discussed by members of Congress
    • Ensure that our nation remains globally competitive as the robotics industry expands and further affects the way we live our lives.
    Robots go where it's dirty, dull, or dangerous. They reduce exposure to toxins and perform jobs nobody should, as in pipeline inspections. Robots increase accuracy and reliability on assembly lines and improve speed, producing cheaper mass-produced goods. They reduce risk to the military and First Responders, and go where humans can't.
  • Congressional Robotics Caucus Advisory Committee

  • The Advisory Committee to the Congressional Robotics Caucus serves as a resource for the Caucus members and their staffs, and assists the members in hosting regular briefings for policymakers, the press, and the public on the state of robotics technology and key issues facing the robotics industry. Contact information for each organization is listed below.
    • ASSOCIATION FOR COMPETITIVE TECHNOLOGY
       

    • - an international advocacy and education organization representing more than 3000 small and mid-size app developers and information technology firms. ACT offers experts and information on the needs of small business innovators from around the world.
      Contact: Mr. Morgan Reed, Executive Director
    • THE ROBOTICS INSTITUTE - CARNEGIE MELLON UNIVERSITY

    • - established in 1979 to conduct basic and applied research in robotics technologies relevant to industrial and societal tasks. Seeking to combine the practical and the theoretical, the Robotics Institute has diversified its efforts and approaches to robotics science while retaining its original goal of realizing the potential of the robotics field. The Institute's faculty and students come from a wide variety of backgrounds and represent many unique areas of expertise. They can answer your questions about the multi-disciplinary nature of robotics, which encompass aspects of computer science, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, psychology, and many other disciplines.
      Contact: Debbie Tekavec, Director of Federal Relations, CMU
    • COMPUTING RESEARCH ASSOCIATION
       

    • - an association of more than 200 North American academic departments of computer science, computer engineering, and related fields; laboratories and centers in industry, government, and academia engaging in basic computing research; and affiliated professional societies. CRA offers experts to answer your questions about policies involving computing research and computing technology in general.
      Contact: Ms. Melissa Norr, Policy Analyst
    • IEEE-USA

       

    • - an organizational unit of the IEEE, the world's largest professional association - with over 400,000 members globally - for the advancement of technology. IEEE-USA offers, experts on engineering R&D policies and programs, innovation and fast moving technologies, and many other topics related to sustaining U.S. technological leadership and promoting economic competitiveness.
      Contact: Ms. Erica Wissolik, Senior Program Manager, Government Relations
    • IEEE ROBOTICS & AUTOMATION SOCIETY (IEEE-RAS)

    • - a professional society of the IEEE consisting of IEEE's members who have expertise in systems incorporating sensors and actuators that operate autonomously or semi-autonomously in cooperation with humans. The IEEE-RAS offers the foremost experts for all of your questions about robotics and automation innovation. RAS strives to advance innovation, education, and fundamental and applied research in robotics and automation.
      Contact: Dr. Raj Madhavan
    • MASS TECHNOLOGY LEADERSHIP COUNCIL
       

    • - the only business association that addresses the critical leadership issues of innovative technology and technology-enabled companies. The organization offers experts in fostering entrepreneurship and promoting the success of companies that develop and deploy technology across industry sectors.
      Contact: Mr. Tom Hopcroft, President & CEO
    • NATIONAL CENTER FOR MANUFACTURING SCIENCES
       

    • - a nonprofit, member-based consortium with the objective to drive the global competitiveness of North American manufacturers through collaboration, innovation, and advanced technologies. NCMS recognizes that robotics will help define the future, and they offer experts who can answer your questions about the future of manufacturing and use of robotics in North America.
      Contact: Dr. Chuck Ryan, Vice President, Technology
    • NATIONAL DEFENSE INDUSTRIAL ASSOCIATION
       

    • - a leading defense industry association promoting national security. NDIA provides a legal and ethical forum for the exchange of information between industry and government on national security issues. They offer experts to answer your questions about defense- and technology-related issues.
      Contact: Mr. Peter Staffs
    • ROBOTIC INDUSTRIES ASSOCIATION

    • - the only trade group in North America organized specifically to serve the robotics industry. Member companies include leading robot manufacturers, users, system integrators, component suppliers, research groups, and consulting firms.
      Questions? Ask the Robotics Experts
    • SAE INTERNATIONAL
       

    • - a global association of more than 128,000 engineers and related technical experts in the aerospace, automotive and commercial-vehicle industries. SAE offers experts who can answer your questions on robotics standards and technology in the automotive industry.
      Contact: Mr. Bruce Mahone, Director, Washington Operations
    • ROBOTICS TECHNOLOGY CONSORTIUM

    • - a non-profit industry organization formed in 2008 to speed the creation and deployment of ground robotics technology for the Defense Department and other government organizations. The RTC currently has a membership of nearly 200 large and small commercial companies, academic institutions, and non-profit organizations. The consortium develops solutions to meet critical needs identified by the Office of the Secretary of Defense Joint Ground Robotics Enterprise (OSD/JGRE) to support national security objectives.
  • Past Congressional Robotics Caucus Briefings

  • 2013

  • 1) Robotics Roadmap 2.0, Briefing In conjunction with the Congressional Robotics Caucus

    2) Harnessing New Robotics Technologies for Job Creation

    From manufacturing to self-driving cars, robotics has made a huge impact as a transformative technology, fostering both innovation and the competitiveness of the United States in the global marketplace. Unfortunately, people have the misperception that robotics – and automation in general – would eliminate jobs instead of create them. This briefing presents a first-hand account of views, opinions, and real-world experiences of experts and practitioners from the industry and academia, to demonstrate how robots are contributing to job growth and sustainability of U.S. industries.
  • 2012

      • 1) Driverless Cars: the Next Generation of Mobility (July 25, 2012)

        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 will address policy and regulations and the many challenges we face in order that automated vehicles become “better than humans” in regards to increasing safety and mobility of our transportation systems. He will provide insight into their newly defined automated driving research program that spans the next 10 years, and discuss why he sees automation as a worthy goal that has great potential for improving vehicle safety and other transportation goals. John was formerly with Volkswagen as a compliance officer and prior to that, a senior research engineer for the Ford Motor Company. John 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 at University of Texas at Austin
        Scott will discuss 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.

        2) THE NATIONAL ROBOTICS INITIATIVE: From Manufacturing to Medicine to Mars: Robotics Research to Transform US Industry, Jobs and the Economy (September 14, 2012)

        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:

        MODERATOR

        Dr. Farnam Jahanian
        Director, Computer and Information Science and Engineering, National Science Foundation

        NSF
        Dr. Richard Voyles
        Program Director, National Robotics Initiative, Robust Intelligence, and Innovation Corps

        USDA
        Dr. Daniel Schmoldt
        National Program Leader, Division of Agricultural Systems, National Institute of Food and Agriculture

        NASA
        Dr. Robert Ambrose
        Principal Investigator, Game Changing Development Program, NASA Office of Chief Technologist
  • 2011

      • 1) Manufacturing & Robotics (14 July 2011)

        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.

        2) ROBOTICS & STEM EDUCATION (September 22, 2011) (PDF flyer)

        Jon Dudas, President, FIRST® Mr. Dudas was appointed President of FIRST® in June 2010. He 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.