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US Grants Key for Machine Vision

Photonics.com
Jun 2009
ROSEMONT, Ill., June 16, 2009 – The room was packed with scientists and engineers standing, sitting in chairs and even on the floor as they eagerly awaited a speech on obtaining grant funding from the US government. It was one of many rooms in the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, Ill., host to the 2009 Robots & Vision Show.

The speaker was Ellen M. Purdy, the enterprise director for Joint Ground Robotics in the Office of the Under Secretary for Defense, a unit of the Department of Defense (DoD).

The first thing that a military robot needs to have, Purdy said, is 3-D sensing and vision capability. Other necessary attributes include full human-like movement capabilities, a user-friendly interface, and there must be little to no risk of the robot harming friendly soldiers and civilians.

Purdy said that the key consideration for funding is whether or not the technology will perform an important military task such as disarming landmines. The technology can be anything as long as it works.

A gentleman in the audience asked, “Who owns the intellectual property rights?” Purdy said that there are many people who will say that the government owns the rights because it is paying for the technology, but she realizes that this is a thorny issue and is willing to be flexible on this matter.

David L. Shenkenberg
david.shenkenberg@laurin.com


GLOSSARY
photonics
The technology of generating and harnessing light and other forms of radiant energy whose quantum unit is the photon. The science includes light emission, transmission, deflection, amplification and detection by optical components and instruments, lasers and other light sources, fiber optics, electro-optical instrumentation, related hardware and electronics, and sophisticated systems. The range of applications of photonics extends from energy generation to detection to communications and...
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