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Submission + - NSF and federal partners award $37M to advance nation's co-robots

aarondubrow writes: Today, NSF, in partnership with DOD, NASA, NSF, NIH and USDA, announced $37 million in new awards to spur the development and use of co-robots, robots that work cooperatively with people. From unmanned vehicles that can inspect and fix ailing infrastructure to co-robots that can collaborate with workers on manufacturing tasks, scientists and engineers are developing the next generation of robots that can handle critical tasks in close proximity to humans, providing for unprecedented safety and resilience. This year, the initiative funded 66 new research proposals to 49 distinct institutions in 27 states.

Submission + - NSF awards $74.5 million to support interdisciplinary cybersecurity research (nsf.gov)

aarondubrow writes: The National Science Foundation announced $74.5 million in grants for basic research in cybersecurity. Among the awards are projects to understand and offer reliability to cryptocurrencies; invent technologies to broadly scan large swaths of the Internet and automate the detection and patching of vulnerabilities; and establish the science of censorship resistance by developing accurate models of the capabilities of censors. According to NSF, long-term support for fundamental cybersecurity research has resulted in public key encryption, software security bug detection, spam filtering and more.

Submission + - Robots to the Rescue: 5 Lessons From 23 Emergency Robot Deployments (huffingtonpost.com)

aarondubrow writes: Robin Murphy, director of Center for Robot-Assisted Search and Rescue at Texas A&M University and one of the leading researchers in the field of disaster robotics, has used robots and UAVs for search-and-rescue missions and structural inspections during more than 20 disasters, from 9/11 to Katrina to Fukushima and the 2015 Texas floods. The Huffington Post carried a story where she describes five lessons she's learned from her robot deployments and research.

Submission + - Democratizing the Maker Movement (huffingtonpost.com)

aarondubrow writes: To its advocates and participants, the Maker Movement resonates with those characteristics that we believe makes America great: independence and ingenuity, creativity and resourcefulness. But as impressive as today's tools are, they're not accessible to many Americans simply because of their cost and high technological barrier to entry. An article in the Huffington Post describes efforts supported by the National Science Foundation and other federal agencies to create new tools, technologies and approaches to make the Maker movement more inclusive and democratic.

Submission + - NSF and Intel partner to secure the emerging Internet of Things (nsf.gov)

aarondubrow writes: NSF and Intel announced two new grants totaling $6 million to teams led by Stanford and University of Pennsylvania professors that will address the security and privacy of cyber-physical systems. The new model of cooperation between government, industry and academia aims to increase the relevance and impact of long-range research by transitioning important discoveries into products and services more easily.

Submission + - Cyber-defense and forensic tool turns 20 (nsf.gov)

aarondubrow writes: In 1995, Vern Paxson, then a computer science Ph.D. student at the University of California, Berkeley, began writing what would eventually become Bro, the open source cybersecurity software that defends innumerable networks today, including key government and business enterprises in the U.S. (The name, "Bro," is a reference to Big Brother, an Orwellian reminder that monitoring comes hand in hand with the potential for privacy violations.) On Tuesday, at its annual meeting of users and cybersecurity engineers, Bro celebrates its 20th Anniversary. The project represents one of the best examples of federal funding helping to transition innovative cybersecurity technology out of academia and into the world in support of networking security.

Submission + - 7 Cyberlearning Technologies Transforming Education

aarondubrow writes: The National Science Foundation funds basic cyberlearning research and since 2011 has awarded roughly 170 grants, totaling more than $120 million, to EdTech research projects around the country. However, NSF's approach to cyber-learning has been different from other public, private and philanthropic efforts. NSF funds compelling ideas, helps rigorously test them and then assists in transitioning the best ideas from research to practice. A story in the Huffington Post describes 7 examples of leading cyberlearning projects, from artificial intelligence to augmented reality, that are transforming education.

Submission + - Programming safety into self-driving cars (nsf.gov)

aarondubrow writes: Automakers have presented a vision of the future where the driver can check his or her email, chat with friends or even sleep while shuttling between home and the office. However, to AI experts, it's not clear that this vision is a realistic one. In many areas, including driving, we'll go through a long period where humans act as co-pilots or supervisors before the technology reaches full autonomy (if it ever does). In such a scenario, the car would need to communicate with drivers to alert them when they need to take over control. In cases where the driver is non-responsive, the car must be able to autonomously make the decision to safely move to the side of the road and stop. Researchers from the University of Massachusetts Amherst have developed 'fault-tolerant planning' algorithms that allow semi-autonomous machines to devise and enact a "Plan B."

Submission + - NSF commits $16M to build cloud-based and data-intensive supercomputers 1

aarondubrow writes: As supercomputing becomes central to the work and progress of researchers in all fields, new kinds of computing resources and more inclusive modes of interaction are required. Today, the National Science Foundation (NSF) announced $16M in awards to support two new supercomputing acquisitions for the open science community. The systems — "Bridges" at the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center (PSC) and "Jetstream," co-located at the Indiana University Pervasive Technology Institute (PTI) and The University of Texas at Austin's Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC) — respond to the needs of the scientific computing community for more high-end, large-scale computing resources while helping to create a more inclusive computing environment for science and engineering.

Submission + - From cognition to control: Fundamental research advances cooperative robots

aarondubrow writes: From disaster recovery to caring for the elderly in the home, scientists and engineers are developing robots that can handle critical tasks in close proximity to humans, safely and with greater resilience than previous generations of intelligent machines. Today, the National Science Foundation (NSF), in partnership with the National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Agriculture and NASA announced $31.5 million in new awards to spur the development and use of co-robots--robots that work cooperatively with people.The awards mark the third round of funding made through the National Robotics Initiative (NRI), a multi-agency program launched in September 2012. The 52 new research awards, ranging from $300,000 to $1.8 million over one to four years, advance fundamental understanding of robotic sensing, motion, computer vision, machine learning and human-computer interaction.

Submission + - Designing tomorrow's air traffic control systems

aarondubrow writes: According to FAA estimates, increasing congestion in the air transportation system of the United States, if unaddressed, will cost the American economy $22 billion annually in lost economic activity by 2022. MIT researcher Hamsa Balakrishnan and her team are making air traffic control systems more efficient through a combination of better models and new embedded technologies. Testing their algorithms at Logan Airport in Boston, they showed that by holding aircraft back for 4.5 minutes, they could improve flow on the runways and save nearly 100 pounds of fuel for each aircraft.

Submission + - Ebola Test Is Positive in Second Texas Health Worker (nytimes.com)

mdsolar writes: The authorities in Texas reported on Wednesday that a second health care worker involved in the treatment of a patient who died of the Ebola virus had tested positive for the disease after developing a fever.

The worker, who was not identified by name, had been “among those who took care of Thomas Eric Duncan after he was diagnosed with Ebola,” a statement from the Texas Department of State Health Services said.

Submission + - Brown Dog: A search engine for the other 99 percent (of data)

aarondubrow writes: We've all experienced the frustration of trying to access information on websites, only to find that the data is trapped in outdated, difficult-to-read file formats and that metadata--the critical data about the data, such as when and how and by whom it was produced---is nonexistent. Led by Kenton McHenry, a team at NCSA is working to change that. Recipients in 2013 of a $10 million, five-year award from the National Science Foundation, the team is developing software that allows researchers to manage and make sense of vast amounts of digital scientific data that is currently trapped in outdated file formats. The NCSA team recently demonstrated two publicly-available services to make the contents of uncurated data collections accessible.

Submission + - Laying the groundwork for data-driven science

aarondubrow writes: The ability to collect and analyze massive amounts of data is transforming science, industry and everyday life. But what we've seen so far is likely just the tip of the iceberg. As part of an effort to improve the nation's capacity in data science, NSF today announced $31 million in new funding to support 17 innovative projects under the Data Infrastructure Building Blocks (DIBBs) program, including data infrastructure for education, ecology and geophysics. "Each project tests a critical component in a future data ecosystem in conjunction with a research community of users," said said Irene Qualters, division director for Advanced Cyberinfrastructure at NSF. "This assures that solutions will be applied and use-inspired."

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