Robots, nanotechnology and other manufacturing of the future can reposition the U.S. as a global technology leader and revitalize the nation’s flagging economy, President Obama said Friday morning. In a visit to Carnegie Mellon University, Obama announced a $500 million investment in advanced technologies, including $70 million for a national robotics initiative.
A new Advanced Manufacturing Partnership will bring together six universities, including CMU and MIT, and 11 manufacturing firms, including Ford Motor Co. and Northrop Grumman, to develop new technologies. A National Robotics Initiative and a Materials Genome Initiative will spur new, rapid advances in fields from medicine to consumer gadgets, Obama said.
“We are inventors, we are makers, and we are doers,” Obama said. “If we want a robust, growing economy, we want a robust manufacturing sector.”
Obama toured CMU’s Robotics Institute, where researchers are working on projects like autonomous flying car technology. He also met with a local robotics firm that produces robots that can explore water and sewer pipes, capturing video for municipal workers and transmitting information to a central city database.