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Ryan Truby and Sam Kriegman Receive CESR Seed Funding Award for Sustainable Design and Fabrication of Intelligent Robots

Sam Kriegman an Ryan Truby from Center for Robotics and Biosystems

This seed grant will be cultivated in the rich soil of the Center for Robotics and Biosystems and grow over the next year and a half into the preliminary results needed for external proposals on the topic of sustainable robotics.

Although computational efficiency is improving for training robots, the design and fabrication of robots remains inefficient and unsustainable: Days of supercomputing—with carbon emissions equivalent to powering a home for several years in the United States—are required to achieve robots capable of the simplest behaviors, and considerable waste (plastics, toxic metals, harmful chemicals) must be discarded with each fabricated prototype. This is an unsustainable path for robotics that may never lead to truly intelligent machines. Support from CESR will allow us to reduce the computational, financial, environmental, and social costs of robot design, as well as improve robotics and AI technologies themselves. To do so, we will develop a computationally-efficient, low-waste pipeline for generating and printing novel sensorized robots. This will lay the groundwork for a sustainable path to intelligent robots, which may themselves be optimized to carry out the tasks necessary to sustain humanity and the biosphere.

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