ARM Announces Second Technology Project Call

This project call is a supplemental project call and includes the same seven topics from the primary data call released in October 2017, with one new topic focused on software, created based on ARM Member feedback and industry demand.


Suzy Teele
Head of Marketing and Communications
Advanced Robotics for Manufacturing Institute (ARM) O: 412-681-8264 C: 412-310-5207

Advanced Robotics for Manufacturing (ARM) Pre-Solicitation Notice for Upcoming Project Call

(May 9, 2018, Pittsburgh, PA) Advanced Robotics for Manufacturing (ARM) today issued a pre-solicitation notice for its upcoming Technology Project Call on May 15, 2018.

To best protect and pursue our interests at home and abroad, the United States relies on a robust and innovative domestic manufacturing sector. Advanced Robotics for Manufacturing (ARM), a national, public-private partnership among leaders in industry, academia, and nonprofits, was established to develop, demonstrate and accelerate the early adoption of novel robotic solutions by funding technology and workforce training projects and by creating an ecosystem that advances robotics technology and education. Increased productivity gained by collaborative robotic automation will help create new jobs to build, manage, and maintain the robots, promote on-shoring by manufacturers, and replace dangerous jobs with safer jobs. This project call is for technology proposals only.

ARM will post a Technology Project Call on May 15, 2018 in the ARM Member Community and on the public website.

The proposal submission procedure is a two-step process with the following tentative schedule:

Step 1: Concept Paper Submission: 5:00 PM ET, Jun 20, 2018
Step 2: Full Proposal Submission (by invitation only): 5:00 PM ET, Aug 29, 2018

Proposed projects must develop within Technology Readiness Levels (TRL) 4-7 and Manufacturing Readiness Levels (MRL) 4-7. Each project has a minimum of 1:1 cost sharing with deference to those with higher cost share. Projects must be industry-led and address an industry need. Projects must develop or integrate innovation. A typical award would have a budget of $500,000 in federal funding over 12 months (with 1:1 cost sharing, this means a $1,000,000 total budget). Projects of $750K will be considered at 18 months with good justification. In addition, smaller project sizes and durations will be seriously considered. Please note that the topics described below are very broad and offerors should submit a proposal focusing on specific technology areas and gaps. We do not expect projects to comprehensively solve an entire topic area or solve all the manufacturing objectives. Successful proposals will clearly identify project deliverables and the benefit to other ARM members.

This project call is a supplemental project call and includes the same seven topics from the primary data call released in October 2017, with one new topic focused on software. The topics are as follows:

Topic 1: Identifying and Packing Objects
Focus: Develop mechanisms, algorithms and systems to organize parts for highly time-efficient use and transport.

Topic 2: Unloading and unpacking objects
Focus: Automate the currently low-value, but necessary, time-consuming task of unloading items received and transferring to a desired location.

Topic 3: Transport and Delivery through a Complex, Crowded Floor
Focus: Develop systems capability of transporting objects through cluttered spaces, both safely and efficiently, using low-cost technologies.

Topic 4: Inspection of Non-standard Materials
Focus: Provide tools that assist or automate the inspection of soft, malleable, non-rigid objects to lower cost and improve product quality.

Topic 5: Tracking and Traceability of Components
Focus: Using robotics and vision systems, reduce the cost to automate the tracking of components in inventory and in the supply chain.

Topic 6: Surface Treatments
Focus: Advance robotics to significantly reduce the systems cost of manual surface treatment processes such as sanding and polishing of components.

Topic 7: Manipulating Compliant Materials
Focus: Advance robotics to meet product quality and demand for compliant components to address shortages of skilled labor and increasingly high labor demands.

Topic 8: Software Interoperability (new topic area)
Focus: Enable interoperability among a variety of different robotic software frameworks and hardware interfaces.

Note that only ARM active members can participate in project calls. Visit to learn about becoming a member.

Click here to read the full pre-solicitation notice.

About ARM
Advanced Robotics for Manufacturing (ARM) is the nations leading collaborative in robotics and workforce innovation. Structured as a public-private partnership, we accelerate transformative robotic technologies and education to increase U.S. global manufacturing competitiveness. Founded in January 2017 in Pittsburgh, PA, and funded by the Department of Defense, ARM is part of the Manufacturing USA network. Learn more at

Featured Product

ST Robotics Develops the Workspace Sentry for Collaborative Robotics

ST Robotics Develops the Workspace Sentry for Collaborative Robotics

The ST Robotics Workspace Sentry robot and area safety system are based on a small module that sends an infrared beam across the workspace. If the user puts his hand (or any other object) in the workspace, the robot stops using programmable emergency deceleration. Each module has three beams at different angles and the distance a beam reaches is adjustable. Two or more modules can be daisy chained to watch a wider area. "A robot that is tuned to stop on impact may not be safe. Robots where the trip torque can be set at low thresholds are too slow for any practical industrial application. The best system is where the work area has proximity detectors so the robot stops before impact and that is the approach ST Robotics has taken," states President and CEO of ST Robotics David Sands.