(EIN News, 1-14-2017) Today, the Department of Defense awarded the 14th Manufacturing USA institute – the Advanced Robotics Manufacturing (ARM) Innovation Hub – to American Robotics, Inc. The eighth DoD-led institute, the ARM Institute joins the Manufacturing USA network in its collective effort to help revitalize American manufacturing and incentivize companies to invest in new technology development in the United States.
Headquartered in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the winning consortium – comprised of state and local governments, industry, universities, community colleges, and non-profit organizations from across the country – contributed $173 million, to be combined with $80 million in federal funding. The substantial cost matching reflects the importance the U.S. robotics community places on this institute and its value to U.S. businesses, academia, and state and local governments.
The ARM Institute, with founding industrial and academic partners in Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, and Wisconsin will organize the current fragmented domestic capabilities in manufacturing robotics technology and better position the United States, relative to global competition.
The use of robotics is already present in manufacturing environments, but today’s robots are typically expensive, singularly purposed, challenging to reprogram, and require isolation from humans for safety. Robotics are increasingly necessary to achieve the level of precision required for defense and other industrial manufacturing needs, but the capital cost and complexity of use often limits small to mid-size manufacturers from utilizing the technology.