The SMART Start program is focused on funding innovative, interdisciplinary projects with community-related themes.

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Launched by the Sustainable Manufacturing and Advanced Robotics Technology Community of Excellence (SMART CoE), SMART Start will support interdisciplinary collaboration. This aligns with the mission of SMART: to research and develop the next generation of technologies, products, processes and expertise for achieving global leadership in economic and ecological sustainability for design and manufacturing across scales of time, size, and complexity.


Towards Greater Sustainability and Autonomy: Human-Robot Collaboration for Disassembly in Future Manufacturing

The SMART Start Phase I theme is the Human-Technology Frontier.

This includes how artificial intelligence, rapid prototyping, and materials design are transforming the relationship between people and technology, whether in creating innovative partnerships between robots and people, creating customized materials, and generating insight into complex system outcomes. White papers in this broad area of interest are welcome.  

Faculty Involved:

The overall goal of the effort is to combine disassembly sequence planning with deep learning based human behavior (and tool type/ usage) prediction, and iterative learning based real-time control.  The disassembly and disposal of products at end of life is not well-structured like in product production. 

AMLENS: Interpretable and Interactive Human-Technology Partnership for Additive Manufacturing Quality Excellence

The objective of this project is to create a human-technology collaborative environment for Additive Manufacturing (AM) quality excellence by: 1) making the additive manufacturing process data human interpretable, and 2) integrating human interactions into AM process control technologies. The project will test the hypothesis that additive manufacturing quality excellence can be better achieved in an interpretable and interactive human-technology partnership. An AMLens is proposed: just as a human can adjust a lens to observe a system, a human can interact with technology for adaptive learning.


SMART Start Phase II seeks to build on previous community efforts by catalyzing industry collaborations and/or large scale proposal development. Teams selected in Phase I or funded in earlier SMART Exploratory project calls will receive higher priority.