New Competition Brings Robots to Market

The field of robotics has a long and rich tradition of competitions, from FIRST and Botball to the DARPA Autonomous Driving Grand Challenges and the Google Lunar X-Prize. By inspiring contestants to out-innovate one another, competitions like these have helped generate great technology as well as excitement among students and researchers.

Now there is a new robotics competition—one designed to take the next step of getting good robotics ideas out of the labs and into commercial production. RoboBowl is a competition with a focus on business plans, encouraging start-ups to bring great robotic ideas to market.

Co-sponsored by The Robotics Technology Consortium (a non-profit robotics industry organization), the Innovation Accelerator (a private promoter of economic competitiveness that works in partnership with Federal entities), and Carnegie Mellon University, RoboBowl intends to spin off a series of competitions, with the first one focused on the area of “healthcare and quality of life.” Five finalists will each get $5,000 and an invitation to a final competitive round, the winner of which will take home an additional $20,000.

Full information is available here. And whether you're a student, an engineer, or a start-up business with good ideas for a product, stay tuned for announcements of other RoboBowl competitions on other robotics topics around the country, and contribute your ideas via robots@ostp.gov.

Chuck Thorpe is Assistant Director for Advanced Manufacturing and Robotics at OSTP

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