SRI International Showcases Robots at Stanford Block Party during National Robotics Week
Southwest Research Institute
MENLO PARK, Calif.—April 13, 2011—SRI International will exhibit dexterous telerobotics and demonstrate its wall-climbing robot during a Robot Block Party event at Stanford University’s Volkswagen Automotive Innovation Lab (VAIL) on Thursday, April 14, from 1 to 7 p.m. SRI’s dexterous telerobotics includes the organization’s latest robotic prototype, which can be used to defeat vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices (VBIEDs) from a safe distance.
The block party is part of the second annual National Robotics Week (NRW), organized by the Robotics Caucus of the U.S. Congress and leading robotics companies, schools, and organizations. The event, which is free and open to the public, is one of numerous events planned for April 9 to 17 to showcase robotics technology throughout the U.S.
“We look forward to participating again in this annual event where we can share SRI’s robot technologies directly with the public,” said Rich Mahoney, director of the Robotics Program at SRI. “We will show the unique contributions robotics are making in different industries, and we hope to inspire students to consider careers in robotics.”
The purpose of NRW is to celebrate the U.S. as a leader in robotics technology development and to educate the public about how robotics technology impacts society—now and in the future. Goals of planned events include
Recognizing the transformative role of robotics technology and the ability of robots to educate
Highlighting robotics technologies helping to improve healthcare, national defense, homeland security, energy, manufacturing, logistics, transportation, agriculture, education, and consumer goods
Inspiring students to consider careers in robotics and other Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM)-related fields
SRI’s History of Robotic Innovations
SRI has a long history in the field of robotics, beginning with Shakey, the first mobile robot to reason about its actions. Through the years, SRI has also pioneered medical and telepresence technologies. In 1995, SRI spun off Intuitive Surgical, Inc. to commercialize its revolutionary robotic surgical technology. More recently, SRI’s M7 telesurgical robot was used in the first robotic surgery demonstration in a simulated zero-gravity environment, and in an experiment involving multiple biomedical robots manipulated from different locations.
In 2008, SRI developed its wall-climbing robot using electroadhesion—an electrically controllable adhesion technology. This robotic technology uses a small amount of power and has the ability to repeatedly clamp to wall surfaces covered in dust or debris. SRI has demonstrated its wall-climbing robot on surfaces such as concrete, wood, steel, glass, drywall, and brick. Potential applications include military use, first responders, inspection, or ladder safety.
For more information about Stanford University’s Robot Block Party and National Robotics Week, visit
About SRI International
Silicon Valley-based SRI International, a nonprofit research and development organization, performs sponsored R&D for governments, businesses, and foundations. SRI brings its innovations to the marketplace through technology licensing, new products, and spin-off ventures. Commemorating its 65th anniversary in 2011, SRI is known for world-changing innovations in computing, health and pharmaceuticals, chemistry and materials, sensing, energy, education, national defense, and more.