A consortium of U.S. government agencies, lead by DARPA, has jointly issued a solicitation for small business proposals...
Joint-Agency SBIR Funding Opportunity Announcement
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/pa-f ... 0-279.html
The HTML title element for that page contains the following:
"PAR-10-279: Robotics Technology Development and Deployment [RTD2] (R43)"
The participating agencies are:
National Institutes of Health (NIH)
U.S. Department of Defense (DOD), (http://www.defenselink.mil/)
National Science Foundation (NSF) (http://www.nsf.gov/)
United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)
Department of Homeland Security (DHS)
Each agency's interest in the initiative is described within the document.
I noted the presence of USDA on the list with extreme interest, as you might expect, and am pleased to report that an effort to develop the sort of system I've previously described (replacing traction with dextrous manipulation) should be fundable within their guidelines.
Found on Danger Room...
http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2010/10 ... rs-troops/