This week sees the celebration of the first National Robotics Week in the US. Since the foundation of Microsoft Robotics in 2004 by Tandy Trower and where he was Microsoft’s representative (with Stewart Tansley for Microsoft Research) in the Computing Community Consortium’s (CCC) efforts to create a “national road-map” for robotics technology, we’re excited to see the acceleration of robotics in the US and internationally. All of us at Microsoft Robotics wish great success to what we hope will become just the first of many such events in the coming years.

 

From the National Robotics Week “About” page:

National Robotics Week recognizes robotics technology as a pillar of 21st century American innovation, highlights its growing importance in a wide variety of application areas, and emphasizes its ability to inspire technology education. Robotics is positioned to fuel a broad array of next-generation products and applications in fields as diverse as manufacturing, health-care, national defense and security, agriculture and transportation. At the same time, robotics is proving to be uniquely adept at enabling students of all ages to learn important science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) concepts and at inspiring them to pursue careers in STEM-related fields. During National Robotics Week, a week-long series of events and activities is aimed at increasing public awareness of the growing importance of “robo-technology” and the tremendous social and cultural impact that it will have on the future of the United States.

National Robotics Week is a product of a 2009 effort by leading universities and companies to create a “national road-map” for robotics technology, which was initially unveiled at a May 2009 briefing by academic and industry leaders to the Congressional Caucus on Robotics. U.S. Representative Mike Doyle (PA-14), co-chair of the Caucus, and other members have submitted a formal resolution asking Congress to support the designation of the second full week in April as National Robotics Week.

 

Resources from Microsoft:

 

·         Microsoft Robotics Developer Studio – a Windows(r)-based environment for academic, hobbyist, and commercial developers to easily create robotics applications across a wide variety of hardware.

·         Learning materials for Microsoft Robotics Developer Studio.

·         Teaching materials for teaching faculty in the Microsoft Faculty Resource Center.

·         Student materials for downloading Microsoft Robotics Developer Studio and other products at no cost if you are a student

·         Blog entry by our colleague Stewart Tansley in Microsoft Research about National Robotics Week.