This Notice is to announce the U.S. Government's intent to seek competition for an eighth Manufacturing Innovation Institute (MII) to be led by the Department of Defense (DoD). The topic of this eighth DoD-led Institute is Robots in Manufacturing Environments (RIME). The motivation for the RIME-MII is to improve U.S. competitiveness in manufacturing through advancements in the smart collaborative robotic field.
This technology has the potential to level the manufacturing playing field with competing low labor cost economies, with decreased manufacturing cost, better quality and timely reaction to changes needed by the customer. Smart, collaborative robotics can also enable "batch of one" production, also known as mass customization. The technologies developed in this institute will be primarily focused in making advanced manufacturing more competitive, addressing DoD needs, and contribute to improving prosperity in the United States. The Institute will focus on technology areas such as human robot interaction, adaption, learning, manipulation, autonomy, mobility and perception.