The current materials research process is slow and expensive; taking decades from invention to commercialization. The Air Force Research Laboratory pioneered ARES™, the first autonomous research systems for materials development. Researchers are now exploiting advances in artificial intelligence (AI), autonomy & robotics, along with modeling and simulation to create research robots capable of doing iterative experimentation orders of magnitude faster than today. We will discuss concepts and advances in autonomous experimentation in general, and associated hardware, software and autonomous methods.
We expect autonomous research to revolutionize the research process, and propose a “Moore’s Law for the Speed of Research,” where the rate of advancement increases exponentially, and the cost of research drops exponentially. We also consider a renaissance in “Citizen Science” where access to online research robots makes science widely available. This presentation will highlight advances in autonomous research and consider the implications of AI-driven experimentation on the materials landscape.