Purdue University is set to lead a five-year, $27 million project aimed at developing brain-inspired computing for intelligent autonomous systems such as drones and personal robots. The university says the goal is to have these systems operating without human intervention.

The Center for Brain-inspired Computing Enabling Autonomous Intelligence, or C-BRIC, is being funded largely by the North Carolina-based Semiconductor Research Corp. Additional funding includes nearly $4 million from Purdue and support from other participating universities.

The center will be led by Kaushik Roy, professor of electrical and computer engineering at Purdue. In a news release, Roy said "The center’s goal is to develop neuro-inspired algorithms, architectures and circuits for perception, reasoning and decision-making, which today’s standard computing is unable to do efficiently."

The center will include about 17 faculty and around 85 graduate students and postdoctoral researchers from the participating universities. Those universities include Arizona State University, Georgia Institute of Technology, Pennsylvania State University, Portland State University, Princeton University, University of Pennsylvania, and the University of Southern California. 

The Indiana Economic Development Corp. will also provide funds to establish an intelligent autonomous systems laboratory at Purdue.

Mung Chiang, dean of the Purdue College of Engineering, says C-BRIC represents a "game-changer in artificial intelligence."