Robotics/AI

NSF / OSTP Comment Deadline: National Strategic Overview for Quantum Information Science

The National Science Foundation (NSF) and the National Science and Technology Council Subcommittee on Quantum Information Science within the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) are requesting information from the American research and development community working within quantum information science to inform the Subcommittee as the Government develops the means to address specific policy recommendations.

In particular, the "National Strategic Overview for Quantum Information Science" calls upon agencies to develop plans to address six identified key policy areas to enable continued American leadership in quantum information science. These agencies seek public input to inform their work in developing the means to address the specific policy recommendations included in the "Strategic Overview" and the overall goals of the National Quantum Initiative Act

Members of the public may submit comments by email or at this online form. More information is available at this Federal Register notice.

NASA Comment Deadline: Aviation Safety Reporting System and Confidential Close Call Reporting System

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is seeking public comments on its ongoing information collection activities, particularly its Aviation Safety Reporting System (ASRS) and the Confidential Close Call Reporting System (C3RS). 

Both systems are voluntary reporting systems for the reporting of safety incidents, events, or situations. Respondents include, but are not limited to, any participant involved in safety-critical domains such as aviation or railway operations including commercial and general aviation pilots, drone operators, air traffic controllers, flight attendants, ground crews, maintenance technicians, dispatchers, train engineers, conductors, and other members of the public.

The collected safety data are used by NASA, Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), and other organizations that are engaged in research and the promotion of safety. The data are used to (1) Identify deficiencies and discrepancies so that these can be remedied by appropriate authorities, (2) Support policy formulation and planning for improvements and, (3) Strengthen the foundation of human factors safety research. Respondents are not reimbursed for associated cost to provide the information.

Members of the public may submit comments about these information collections by mail or email. More information is available at this Federal Register notice.

NIST Comment Deadline: Analysis of Exoskeleton-Use for Enhancing Human Performance Data Collection

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) invites public comment on a proposed data collection regarding an analysis of exoskeleton use for enhancing human performance.

Exoskeletons—sometimes called wearable robots—are a very rapidly expanding domain with a range of applications and a broad diversity of designs. NIST's Engineering Laboratory will be developing methods to evaluate performance of exoskeletons in two key areas (1) The fit and motion of the exoskeleton device with respect to the users' body and (2) The impact that using an exoskeleton has on the performance of users executing tasks that are representative of activities in industrial settings. The results of these experiments will inform future test method development at NIST, other organizations, and under the purview of the new American Society for Testing Materials (ASTM) Committee F48 on Exoskeletons and Exosuits.

For the first research topic, NIST will evaluate the usefulness of a NIST prototype apparatus for measuring the difference in performance of a person wearing an exoskeleton versus the person's baseline without the exoskeleton while positioning loads and tools. The NIST Position and Load Test Apparatus for Exoskelons (PoLoTAE), which presents abstractions of industrial task challenges, will be evaluated in this research.

For the second research topic, NIST will evaluate a method for measuring the alignment of an exoskeleton to human joint (knee) and any relative movement between the exoskeleton and user. Measurement methods prototyped by NIST for evaluating exoskeleton on mannequin position and motion will be applied to human subjects to verify the usefulness of optical tracking system and designed artifacts worn by users as measurement methods.

Participants will be chosen from volunteers within NIST and adult NIST visitors to participate in the study. Gender and size diversity will be sought in the population of participants. No personally identifiable information (PII) will be recorded unless subject consent for PII disclosure is received. NIST intends to publish information on the analysis and results.

Participants will give informed consent prior to participating in the research. Information may be collected via a paper background questionnaire which may include disclosure of health information which may be relevant for safety and research reasons. Data will be collected using a combination of heart rate monitor, and video and still cameras to collect time and subject activity to correlate heart rate with activity and an optical tracking system which detects markers. Participants will be asked to complete a paper survey once data is collected for the research.

Members of the public may submit comments about this proposed data collection by mail or email. More information is available at this Federal Register notice.

FAA Comment Deadline: Clearance of New Approval of Information Collection: Safety Statement Requirement for Manufacturers of Small Unmanned Aircraft

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) invites public comments about their intention to request the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) approval of a new information collection. The collection involves manufacturers of small unmanned aircraft providing a safety statement to owners of the unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) they produce. This is a statutory requirement. To minimize the burden on small businesses, the FAA has developed an example safety statement that can be used to satisfy the requirement.

Section 2203 of the FAA Extension, Safety, and Security Act of 2016 (Public Law 114-90) requires manufacturers of small unmanned aircraft to make available to the owner a safety statement that satisfies requirements detailed in that section. The requirements include:

  1. Information about, and sources of, laws and regulations applicable to small unmanned aircraft;
  2. Recommendations for using small unmanned aircraft in a manner that promotes the safety of person and property; 
  3. The date that the safety statement was created or last modified; and
  4. Language approved by the Administrator regarding the following:
    1. A person may operate the small unmanned aircraft as a model aircraft (as defined in section 336 of the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 (49 U.S.C. 40101 note)) or otherwise in accordance with Federal Aviation Administration authorization or regulation, including requirements for the completion of any applicable airman test.
    2. The definition of a model aircraft under section 336 of the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 (49 U.S.C. 40101 note).
    3. The requirements regarding the operation of a model aircraft under section 336 of the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 (49 U.S.C. 40101 note).
    4. The Administrator may pursue enforcement action against a person operating model aircraft who endangers the safety of the national airspace system.

By statute, manufacturers will be required to make a safety statement available to small UAS owners. This manufacturer insert serves as an example safety statement that UAS manufacturers may use. 

Members of the public may submit comments about this proposed data collection online at Regulations.gov or via mail. More information is available at this Federal Register notice.

FAA Comment Deadline: Airspace Authorizations in Controlled Airspace

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) invites public comments about their intention to request the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) approval for a new information collection. The FAA proposes collecting information pursuant to new requirements under the United States Code that limited recreational operations of unmanned aircraft must now apply for airspace authorizations in controlled airspace. The FAA will use the collected information to make determinations whether to authorize or deny the requested operation of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) in controlled airspace. The proposed information collection is necessary to issue such authorizations or denials consistent with the FAA's mandate to ensure safe and efficient use of national airspace.

Limited recreational operations are those operations otherwise excepted from FAA certification and operating authority by adhering to all of the limitations listed in 49 U.S.C. 44809(a)(1) thru (8). Among the listed limitations that must be met, 49 U.S.C. 44809(a)(5) requires that these operations receive an authorization from the FAA prior to conducting any small UAS flight in Class B, Class C, Class D, or within the lateral boundaries of the surface area of Class E airspace designated for an airport. This is a new requirement. Previously, only persons operating under part 107 have been required to request these authorizations pursuant to OMB Control Number 2120-0768.

Members of the public may submit comments online at Regulations.gov, or via mail, email, or fax. More information is available at this Federal Register notice.

House Markup: Bills on Science Research and Policy

The House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology will hold a markup session on four bills related to science research and policy. Particularly, the Committee will consider:

  • HR 36: Combating Sexual Harassment in Science Act of 2019
  • HR 2528: STEM Opportunities Act of 2019
  • HR 3153: Vera Rubin Survey Telescope Designation Act
  • HR 3196: Expanding Findings for Federal Opioid Research and Treatment Act

Members of the public may attend in person or via webcast. More information is available at the Committee's website.

House Hearing: Status of the Boeing 737 MAX: Stakeholder Perspectives

The House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, Subcommittee on Aviation, will hold a hearing titled "Status of the Boeing 737 MAX: Stakeholder Perspectives." 

Witnesses include:

  • Sharon Pinkerton: Airlines for America
  • Dan Carey: Allied Pilots Association
  • Sara Nelson: Association of Flight Attendants-CWA
  • The Honorable Randy Babbitt: Former Administrator, Federal Aviation Administration
  • Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger

Members of the public may attend in person or via webcast. More information is available at the Committee's website.

CMS Opportunity: Artificial Intelligence Health Outcomes Challenge

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) are hosting the Artificial Intelligence (AI) Health Outcomes Challenge. This is an opportunity for innovators to demonstrate how AI tools (i.e., deep learning and neural networks) can be used to predict unplanned hospital and skilled nursing facility admissions and adverse effects. The objectives are specifically to:

  1. Use AI/deep learning methodologies to predict unplanned hospital and SNF admissions and adverse events within 30 days for Medicare beneficiaries, based on a data set of Medicare administrative claims data, including Medicare Part A (hospital) and Medicare Part B (professional services).
  2. Develop innovative strategies and methodologies to: explain the AI-derived predictions to front-line clinicians and patients to aid in providing appropriate clinical resources to model participants; and increase use of AI-enhanced data feedback for quality improvement activities among model participants.

Applications and concept slide decks are due June 18, 2019 by 5 pm ET. CMS will announce those participants that move on by July 19, 2019.

Visit ai.cms.gov to learn more and apply. More information is available at the CMS's website.