Previous Case Studies October 2010-CTTEC - Carnegie Mellon University


Start-ups: Bossa Nova Robotics

Bossa Nova was formed in February 2005 as a spin off from Carnegie Mellon University's Robotics Institute to commercialize advanced robotic technologies as consumer products.

David, Sarjoun and John met in the neighborhood of Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh and became friends. They discovered a shared passion for Bossa Nova music, entrepreneurship and technology, so they founded Bossa Nova Robotics to create fascinating personal robots and disseminate them around the world. Meaning "new thing" in Portuguese, Bossa Nova is not only the music that brought them together but it also describes the innovative spirit and driving force behind their concepts and creations.

Located in Pittsburgh, USA, Bossa Nova marshals the technical know-how of this hotbed of robotics to adapt laboratory-grade technologies to innovative and entertaining consumer products. Our heritage of developing advanced robotic technologies and a thorough understanding of consumer needs guides our development of compelling personal robots at affordable prices.

Bossa Nova expects to be at the forefront of the robotics revolution.

To learn more about Bossa Nova Robotics


Start-ups: Wombat Security Technologies

Wombat Security Technologies is a leading provider of cyber-security training and filtering solutions and a spinoff of the world-renowned School of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University. Its security awareness and training solutions are designed to be engaging and have been scientifically shown to be significantly more effective than traditional training solutions. Wombat’s anti-phishing filtering solutions have been shown to catch significantly more phishing attacks than other commercial solutions. Wombat’s products are easy to deploy and maintain and are used in sectors as diverse as finance, government, telecom, health care, retail, education, transportation & utilities, IT and the service industry. With several million users across North America, Europe and Asia, Wombat Security Technologies has established itself as a global leader in cyber security training and filtering. The company’s solutions have received many accolades from the computer security industry and media and have been the subject of feature articles in high profile publications such as Scientific American as well as many business and trade publications.

To learn more about Wombat Security Technologies


Emerging Technologies - Braille Writing Tutor

More than 90% of the world's 161 million blind and/or visually impaired people are living in developing countries. Despite the importance of literacy to employment, social well-being, and health, the literacy rate of this population is estimated at under 3%.  This research project is designed to develop assistive technology to address this critical problem. The project's scope was to design, implement, and test an adaptive Braille writing tutor for the Mathru School for the Blind in Bangalore, India.

The resulting invention teaches blind children in third world countries read and write Braille in much less time and with higher learning rates. A robust, low-power Braille writing tutor – consisting of a digital stylus that interfaces to a computer, PDA, or SimPuter – uses text-to-speech software to speak sentences to the student. As the student writes each letter on the stylus, it provides immediate audio feedback by repeating the written letters and words and correcting mistakes.

Sponsors for the program include the V-Unit Program, TechBridge World and a Carnegie Mellon University-University of Pittsburgh-National Science Foundation IGERT Program in Assistive Technology

About TechBridgeWorld: TechBridge World innovates and implements technology solutions to meet sustainable development needs around the world. Through strong collaborations with partners in developing communities, we explore and enhance the role of technology globally, focusing on two main principles: sharing expertise to create innovative and locally suitable solutions, and empowerment of indigenous populations to create sustainable solutions. Through these efforts TechBridgeWorld creates technology accessible and relevant to all.

To learn more about the Braille Writing Tutor

To learn more about the Tech Bridge World