RIME-MII Federal Funding Opportunity

The US Department of Defense is sponsoring the 8th Manufacturing Innovation Institute, which will focus on collaborative robotics. Below, you will find a summary of the Federal Funding Opportunity, which we quote from proposer’s day invitation website:

“The Manufacturing Innovation Institutes (MII) bring together industry, institutions of higher education (four- and two-year universities, community colleges, technical institutes, etc.), and federal and state agencies to accelerate innovation by investing in industrially relevant manufacturing technologies with broad applications. The MIIs help bridge the gap between basic/early research and product development by developing and scaling critical technologies in the manufacturing readiness level 4 to 7 ranges. These MIIs are to provide shared assets to help companies – particularly small manufacturers – access cutting-edge capabilities and equipment, creating an unparalleled environment to educate and train students and workers in advanced manufacturing skills. Each Institute is to have a specific technical or market focus, serving as a regional hub of manufacturing excellence, providing the critical infrastructure necessary to create a dynamic, highly collaborative environment spurring manufacturing technology innovations and technology transfer leading to production scale-up and commercialization…”

“The Government intends for this FOA to support the establishment of a RIME-MII to advance state-of-the-art application of collaborative robotic technologies in manufacturing environments. The motivation for the RIME-MII is to increase U.S. competitiveness in robotics applied primarily in manufacturing environments by 1) encouraging the development and scale up for commercialization of critical enabling technologies such as human-robot/robot-robot collaboration; perception and sensing; robotic control: adaptation, learning, and repurposing; autonomy and mobility; and, dexterous manipulation; 2) establishing common standards and testing protocols allowing the integration of multiple robotics technologies; 3) creating a robotic technology solution repository (to include modeling tools, databases, catalogue of technology demonstrations and concept sharing mechanisms ); and 4) providing workforce training and education programs to ensure the U.S. workforce can effectively collaborate with robots in a broad spectrum of manufacturing environments.”

We believe that it is not a coincidence that the objectives of RIME-MII align so well with the goals and vision of ROS-Industrial software project and its supporting consortium, which include:

  • Supporting advanced robotics capabilities for manufacturing
  • Standardizing interfaces for cross-platform compatibility
  • Modularizing and scaling components to larger systems
  • Enabling collaborative development environment
  • Developing the workforce through training curriculum and hands-on classes
  • Transferring technology via open source license
  • Providing affordability for small and medium enterprises

The ROS-Industrial Consortium Americas is supportive of teams who are willing to include ROS-Industrial among their technical thrusts. Along the same lines, we believe that the ROS-Industrial project stands to benefit from the involvement of the greater manufacturing industry in the RIME-MII. We invite industry to reach out to proposing teams to learn more and to choose to be involved to support the open solution for advanced robot software: ROS-Industrial.

Need a connection to a proposing team? Please contact ROS-Industrial Consortium Program Manager Paul Hvass: paul.hvass@swri.org