The National Institutes of Health this week announced $4.4 million in grants for projects aimed at developing robotics for healthcare and life sciences.
The funding was granted to teams working on developing a new generation of robotics, called "co-robotics," which aid people with everyday tasks in the healthcare field.
The developments include technology to aid engineers in designing prosthetics, miniature "robot pills" that help diagnose and treat disease and robots that help researchers create artificial tissues.
"Robots that can adapt to new situations and support the work and activities that people do on a daily basis are not just the future of robotics, they are already here," NIH director Dr. Francis Collins said in prepared remarks. "Affordable, accessible robotic technology can facilitate wellness and personalized, home-based health care, especially for the growing elderly and disabled population."
NIH selected 6 projects, the funding for which will be awarded over the course of the next 4 years, given budget availability, according to the agency:
- Brain Machine Interface (BMI) Control of a Therapeutic Exoskeleton
- Personal Pill-Sized Soft Medical Robots for the Gastrointestinal Tract
- Control of Powered Segmented Legs for Humanoids and Rehabilitation Robotics
- High Performance Robotic Below-Knee Prostheses
- Advanced Biophotonics for Image-guided Robotic Surgery
- Parallel, Independent Control of Microrobots for Microassembly of Tissues