ARM FISH Project Receives Additional NSF Funding


The ARM funded technology project out of Northeastern University was awarded additional funding by the National Science Foundation.

OCTOBER 3, 2019 ARM’s FISH (Collaborative Robotics to Foster Innovation for Seafood Handling) Project, led by Northeastern University, was awarded a $2.5M grant from the National Science Foundation. The FISH Project was awarded ARM funding through the organization’s first formal Technology Project Call that took place in October 2017.

The FISH Project directly addresses major technology and workforce gaps in the US fishing industry. Current processes see the fish being caught domestically then shipped abroad to be thawed, processed, and chemically treated before being returned for distribution. This process is costly, time-consuming, and leads to a higher risk of contamination. The project aims to keep these processes in the US through the development of a robotic system that can reliably grasp, place, flip, and squeeze seafood while working collaboratively with human workers in a constrained factory environment. Additionally, due to a workforce shortage, the US imported record amounts of seafood in 2017. The anticipated results from the project will aid in supplementing and assisting the existing workforce to better serve the demand.

According to Dr. Taskin Padir from Northeastern University, the project’s principal investigator, the FISH Project is estimated to amount to $20B in economic impact each year within the next 5-10 years. The developed technology also has possible future applications in the meat, plastics, and textile industries.

The project’s potential impact extends far beyond the fishing industry. The technical innovations may provide dual-use capabilities in such critical applications explosive ordinance inspection/handling, aircraft maintenance, and logistics/resupply for the Department of Defense.

“The entire ARM Team congratulates Dr. Taskin Padir on this grant,” noted Arnie Kravitz, ARM CTO, “This project has the potential for broad impact across various industries and we are excited to be part of its story.”

The additional funding from the National Science Foundation will further enable innovations and research in (i) collaborative robotics and shared autonomy, (ii) interaction design with data visualizations, (iii) labor economics in seafood industry, (iv) ethics of autonomy in the workplace, (v) workforce training and new skills learning. Learn more here.


Advanced Robotics for Manufacturing (ARM) is the nation’s leading collaborative in robotics and workforce innovation. Structured as a public-private partnership, we accelerate transformative robotic technologies and education to increase U.S. global manufacturing competitiveness. Founded in January 2017 in Pittsburgh, PA by Carnegie Mellon University, and funded by the Department of Defense, ARM is part of the Manufacturing USA® network. Learn more at Note: The ARM headquarters has relocated to Mill 19 A. Our updated main phone number is (412) 785-0444. Our address is: Mill 19 A Suite 200, 4501 Lytle St. Pittsburgh, PA 15207


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