The National Science Foundation has announced the formation of the Institute for Civil Infrastructure Systems (ICIS). The effort, which involves New York University, Cornell University, Polytechnic University of New York, and the University of Southern California, links professional activities related to what Richard E. Schuler, director of the Cornell Institute of Public Affairs, calls a fragmented industry. "The institute will link engineering and the applied social sciences to develop better solutions for the myriad of infrastructure problems facing the nation," Schuler adds. Institute projects include: expanded use of Geographical Information Systems (GIS) by the electric, gas, and water utility industries, workshops and white papers on improved public and private cooperation, use of art to develop community participation in local projects, telecommunications to educate K-6 graders about the infrastructure, and programs to reduce the institutional barrier to new technology. E-mail bpf2@. edu.
Unlike industrial robots, which suffered a slight overall slump in 2012, service robots continue to be increasingly in demand. The majority are used for defense, such as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs); and agriculture, such as milking robots.
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