Bionic and Robotic Systems

This program supports the design, development, and demonstration of bionic and robotic systems technologies for biomedical intervention. 


This division supports projects developing and demonstrating new approaches to control/program biology for biomedical intervention, without preference for any particular disease or application. 

Emphasis in this program is on engineering bionic and robotic systems to sense and actuate in response to human biology for biomedical intervention. Projects should be directed toward overcoming a technological challenge that limits biomedical adoption. This program encourages projects that use a design-build-test approach.

Examples of bionic and robotic systems include but are not limited to: 

  • Rehabilitative or curative systems – wearable, orthotic, or implantable devices to restore health after disease or illness
  • Assistive systems – wearable, orthotic, prosthetic, robotic, or implantable devices to replace or supplement capability lost due to chronic conditions
  • Preventative systems – wearable, orthotic, or implantable devices to avoid the onset of acute or chronic conditions, including secondary complications 
  • Procedural systems – minimally invasive surgical tools and other highly-sensorized technologies to repair injury or disease 
  • Semi-autonomous surgical robots
  • Enhancing standard-of-care open-loop therapies with closed-loop feedback capability
  • improve patient outcomes
  • Decrease patient burden
  • Improve affordability
  • Expand procedural access for patients

Additional Emphasis

Additional emphasis in this program is on the development of screening and processing tools and the discovery of design principles to design, build, and test engineered bionic and robotic systems.