Washington State University has received a $3 million grant from the U.S. National Science Foundation to train engineering students to design robots that work well with, and for, people.

Funding for the project — NRT‑LEAD for NextGen Robotics Traineeship in Leadership, Entrepreneurship, and Adaptive Design — will help support 52 doctoral and master’s students in engineering and science with an interdisciplinary emphasis in entrepreneurship and applied psychology, according to a WSU news release.

Graduate students will take courses and engage in field work that helps them better understand what researchers call the “human-machine interface.”

The project will build on WSU research already underway that focuses on the work areas of agriculture, nuclear cleanup and underwater operations. It will span WSU locations in Pullman, Vancouver, Everett, Tri‑Cities and Prosser.

The National Science Foundation is an independent federal agency that supports science and engineering in all 50 states and U.S. territories.