Robotics Excellence

Search and Rescue Robot

Search and Rescue Robot

Robotics Excellence

Carnegie Mellon University's Robotics Institute in the School of Computer Science is the first of its kind in the world, and remains as the world's leader in research, education and innovation in the field of robotics.

CMU recently celebrated National Robotics Week, taking a look back on our accomplishments as well as a look forward to changing the popular view of what robots can do in such areas as manufacturing, healthcare, education, agriculture, transportation and more.

From rescue operations to mapping mines and helping drivers detect roadside dangers, from assisting farmers in the field to meeting the everyday needs of older Americans and people with disabilities, our robots are transforming — and saving — lives.

CMU is a leader in autonomous navigation. In 2007, NASA's Mars Exploration Rovers began using CMU navigation software. That same year, "Boss," the self-driving SUV developed by a CMU student and faculty team, won the DARPA Urban Challenge — where teams competed against each other to complete a 60-mile city course in less than six hours — negotiating busy intersections, obeying traffic laws and avoiding other vehicles — all without human intervention.

In typical CMU entrepreneurial spirit, the university's Robotics Institute has generated more than 40 start-up companies — like Astrobotic Technology — employing more than 1,000 people since 1998.

Founded by William "Red" Whittaker, a CMU alumnus and University Professor of robotics, Astrobotic is pioneering commercial lunar exploration with expeditions that deliver payloads for space agencies and corporate customers. A robotic mission to look for ice at the moon's northern pole will launch in 2015, with the added intention of winning the Google Lunar X Prize of more than $20 million. (See recent article in Scientific American.)

At CMU, students of all disciplines have the opportunity to work side by side with the university's "rock stars" like Whittaker, Takeo Kanade — a pioneer in computer vision and Raj Reddy — the Robotics Institute's founding director and winner of the Turing Prize, the computer science equivalent of the Nobel Prize.

CMU's excellence in robotics has helped convince such companies as Disney, Intel and Caterpillar to establish offices in Pittsburgh.

The university's Robotics Academy is pioneering the use of robots to teach science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) principles to K-12 students and CMU's Robotics Institute hosts almost 200 masters and doctorate students and visiting scholars.

CMU continues to educate the next generation of innovative minds that will make a transformational impact in the world. And while some institutions have recently begun doctoral programs in robotics, if you see anyone with a Ph.D. in Robotics today, it can only be from Carnegie Mellon.  

CMU's Robotics Institute celebrated National Robotics Week in Pittsburgh on Fri., Apr. 20, 2012, with project demonstrations, lab tours, MOBOT Races and a special lecture by Robotics Professor, Howie Choset — of 'snakebot' fame. CMU was also a sponsor and participant of the National Robotics Week celebration, "AUVSI Day" in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday, April 17, 2012.


Related Links: Robotics Institute | Scientific American Article | Field Robotics Center | NREC | QoLT | Good robots make jobs | Pilot-less Helicopter | Keepon: Dancing with a Star | Hollywood vs. Reality | Greenlighting Startups