CMU robotic center transforms Pittsburgh economy, industry

© Carnegie Mellon University

Carnegie Mellon University’s (CMU) National Robotics Engineering Center (NREC) transformed Pittsburgh’s economy, the region, and the robotics industry, according to a university report.

NREC was founded 25 years ago with an initial investment of less than $10 million for the research, development and commercialization of robotics. Since then more than 80 companies specializing in robotics, artificial intelligence and related technologies have located along the Allegheny River from Lawrenceville to the Strip District. Many of these companies were founded or created by NREC alumni and have a value of more than $18 billion.

Robots developed at NREC have been deployed on every continent, and the center’s technologies have been licensed by organizations in 31 countries more than 450 times.

Several robots designed at NREC were created for situations that are too dangerous for humans. Robotics designed to detect and locate land mines, for example, have been used in humanitarian and military applications. The huge humanoid robot was designed for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency Robotics Challenge to be used as a disaster response in the event of a nuclear accident.

The Carnegie Mellon Robotics Academy, and other educational programs, work with children and adults to grow the future science and technology workforce.