The Center for Autonomous Systems and Technologies (CAST) promotes interdisciplinary research and the exchange of ideas in the expanding area of autonomous systems. These systems include, but are not limited to, drones and robots for use in science, industry, and medicine. The research conducted by the center addresses sensing, control, vision, and other emerging areas. The center promotes a synergic environment where machines and humans share the workplace. It also serves as an arena for ideas to translate into reality and be demonstrated to academic researchers as well as to the general public through educational outreach.
Established at Caltech in January 2008 with a $24 million grant over 8 years from the W. M. Keck Foundation. The Institute is a "think and do tank," whose primary purpose is to bring together a broad spectrum of scientists and engineers for sustained technical interaction aimed at developing new space mission concepts and technology.
Collecting solar power in space and transmitting the energy wirelessly to Earth through microwaves enables terrestrial power availability unaffected by weather or time of day. Solar power could be continuously available anywhere on earth.