Israel Innovation Authority approves NIS 57 million for Human-Robot Interaction (HRI) and Command & Control of Autonomous Vehicles innovation
Decision sees work plans and budgets approved for two MAGNET Consortiums valued at a total of NIS 57 million
The Israel Innovation Authority today announced the approval of NIS 57 million dedicated to promoting development and innovation in the fields of Human-Robot Interaction (HRI) and Command & Control of autonomous vehicle fleets. The Authority’s Research Committee approved the work plans and budgets of two MAGNET Consortiums valued at a total of NIS 57 million.
The MAGNET Consortium incentive program is operated by the Innovation Authority's Technology Infrastructure division and provides grants for R&D collaboration as part of a consortium (a group of industrial companies and research institutions developing technologies together). Its efforts are aimed at supporting the funding of infrastructure technologies at the pre-product phase that are at the forefront of global technology and may have significant financial impact for the companies and the Israeli economy as a whole.
The first consortium is the newly launched HRI Consortium (Human Robot Interaction), will develop advanced technologies aimed at providing robots with social capabilities, enabling them to carry out various tasks and effective interactions with different users in diverse operational environments. The various technologies will be implemented, among other things, in a toolkit based on the ROS system (a common user interface used today by manufacturers, developers and users). Products developed by the Consortium will be implemented in its partners’ robotic systems, providing them with the ability to enhance their competitive positioning in the global market. Moreover, some of the developed technologies will be made available to companies looking to incorporate simple HRI capabilities. The Consortium is comprised of Israeli companies including: Cogniteam, Intuition Robotics, ReWalk, Robotican, Deep Learning Robotics (DLR), Seamless Vision, and Elbit Systems C4IR and Cyber. In addition, the Consortium includes researchers from leading research institutes such as: Ben Gurion University of the Negev, Bar Ilan University, Tel Aviv University, and the Reichman University. Moreover, international entities NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology) from the US, and Samsung (via the corporate's Israeli research center), have expressed their interest in joining the Consortium.
The second consortium is the ADROMEDA (Remote control of autonomous fleets) Consortium, which is beginning its second eighteen-month term of operation with the goal of developing technologies to enable and efficient and financially viable operation of remote command and control centers for autonomous fleets (specifically, autonomous vehicles). The ambitious goal demands the mitigation of a number of technological challenges including communication limitations around band width, cyber security concerns, and human-machine interface, etc. Members of this consortium include Israeli companies: DriveU, Mprest, Cognata, R-GO, Elbit Systems C4IR and Cyber and Elbit Aerospace Division. Moreover, a number of international car manufacturers as well as Ayalon Highways Ltd. are participating in this consortium as observers.
Dror Bin, CEO, Israel Innovation Authority: “The Innovation Authority places great importance in promoting the robotics field in Israel. Development and enhancement of capabilities in robotics has the potential to provide companies with a considerable competitive advantage in sales of advanced robotics systems in the global market. This is true when it comes to the production of complete systems as well as with important components in third party manufactured systems."
Dr. Aviv Zeevi, VP Technology Infrastructure Division, Israel Innovation Authority: “The vision of autonomous vehicles is slowly becoming a reality. The products of these consortiums will help generate competitive solutions and bring them to market. We will likely see ways to incorporate various combinations in systems that are not necessarily part of the classic autonomous vehicle market – for example, in the command and control of a fleet of drones, delivery robots, farming tools and more. I believe the timing of the Andromeda consortium is highly apt and will enable its partners to fully cultivate advanced technologies for a very large future market. HRI is a good example of a collaboration between companies from various disciplines working on the same subject, that may end up creating significant economic impact.”