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BENEVOLENT ROBOTICS ATTENDS LIBERATE 2021 NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION CONVERGENCE ACCELERATOR
BOULDER, CO (MAY 27, 2021) – May 14 through May 26, 2o21, Benevolent Robotics’ founder and CEO Jon Burroughs attended a workshop hosted by the National Science Foundation called LIBERATE 2021. Called a convergence accelerator, the workshop’s intent was to “kickstart the next wave of technologies that would empower people with disabilities" according to the workshop’s website.
“It was a fantastic workshop, very well organized. Very thought provoking. NSF is wrestling with the gap between research activity and the creation of practical products that reach people in the real world. Being a representative of an entrepreneurial company rather than a research lab, I felt like I had some insights. It might seem obvious, but research is not the same thing as product development or venture creation. NSF funds research, and so there is a huge gap,” says Burroughs.
LIBERATE, an acronym for “Living Better through Rehabilitative and Assistive Technologies” brought together over 160 individuals from diverse backgrounds and disciplines to consider how technology might better be transferred from the laboratory to the every day lives of people living with disabilities.
“A viable product has got to fall on a sweet spot, where feasibility from a technical perspective, viability from a business perspective, and desirability from a customer perspective all converge,” says Burroughs. “Trying to find a problem to match a solution you already have is doing things backwards.”
The workshop results will be published in an update that will be posted on its website. Its recommendations could shape how a portion of NSF research funding dollars are directed in the next fiscal year. In the meantime, Burroughs plans to help people with disabilities more quickly by taking a free-market approach.
“People need solutions yesterday. The only way to know what problems people are wrestling with is to get out of the building and talk to them,” says Burroughs.
To learn more about Liberate 2021 visit http://sites.google.com/view/liberate2021.
About Benevolent Robotics
We are developing safe and beneficial robots of the future to help the humans we love today. Learn more about Benevolent Robotics LLC, and help us learn more about your needs, at http://benevolentrobotics.com.