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WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Congressman Christopher P. Carney and Bucknell University have announced a joint research project between the University and investigators from the Institute for Human and Machine Cognition (IHMC) to develop robots that will help protect members of the military and law enforcement in urban environments.

Congressman Carney worked with Bucknell to secure $800,000 in federal funding for the project, which was included in the Department of Defense Appropriations Bill for fiscal year 2008. The work will develop and demonstrate technologies for unmanned ground vehicles (legged robots) with the advanced mobility necessary for negotiating urban terrain to enhance the capabilities of the U.S. Armed Forces and reduce risk for troops.

The lead researchers for Bucknell, Keith Buffinton, professor and department chair of mechanical engineering, and Steven Shooter, professor of mechanical engineering, will work with researchers from IHMC, which is based in Pensacola, Fla. || Video: Keith Buffinton on engineering, robotics research at Bucknell

Local research and development
"This is about using local research and development expertise to support our troops. Unmanned robots save the lives of our men and women serving in combat operations," said Congressman Carney. "This collaboration with the Institute for Human and Machine Cognition will expand Bucknell's sponsored research capacity and should facilitate commercialization of new technologies and economic growth in Northeast and Central Pennsylvania."

Bucknell President Brian C. Mitchell said, "Bucknell is deeply grateful to Congressman Carney for recognizing the multiple benefits of this project to the U.S. Armed Forces, citizens at large, Bucknell students of today and of tomorrow, and the Central Pennsylvania economy. In just a brief time in office, he has come to see clearly the enormous potential that Bucknell and its human resources represent for driving economic progress and quality of life in the region."

President Mitchell noted that in addition to its military uses the unmanned robots could assist with local law enforcement in major urban settings here in America, reducing the risk to officers working in cluttered streets and inside buildings. The robots could provide surveillance remotely in dangerous areas.

Long-term collaboration
Congressman Carney said, "Our goal here is a long-term, sustainable collaboration between the Institute for Human and Machine Cognition and Bucknell University. This opportunity will provide extraordinary first-hand research on the leading edges of scientific inquiry. I was proud to work with Bucknell University to secure this funding, and I look forward to the great benefit it will bring to the people of Northeast and Central Pennsylvania, as well as our men and women in uniform."

Contact: Office of Communications

Posted Nov. 26, 2007

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