Carnegie Mellon University

The growing Hazelwood Green complex exemplifies how the Pittsburgh region continues to develop as a hub of innovation and sustainability. Once home to local steel mills, this renovated site in Pittsburgh's Hazelwood neighborhood now houses the Mill 19 advanced manufacturing facility and will soon welcome the Robotics Innovation Center (RIC), further expanding CMU’s engagement with the Hazelwood community and economy.

Through 150,000 square feet of research space and dedicated areas for robotics testing, the RIC brings together fundamental and applied robotics research in a dynamic and adaptive environment, working across traditional disciplinary boundaries to tackle future challenges. The facility will also provide opportunities for the community to engage with roboticists and to learn about robotics and artificial intelligence. Carnegie Mellon envisions the RIC as a world-class destination for robotics and autonomous systems research and education that will attract talent, inspire future generations, build and strengthen community partnerships, and showcase innovation. The unique location and intent of this building also highlights how CMU hopes to continue contributing to the greater Pittsburgh community and the ever-evolving innovation economy.

To learn more, view materials from the Oct. 9, 2023, Hazelwood Green RIC Town Hall [pdf] meeting or watch a virtual tour of the planned RIC building and surrounding grounds

Robotics Innovation Center Aerial View Rendering


  • Developed on brownfield site (former J&L Steel Mill).
  • CMU shuttle routes and dedicated bike room encourages alternative transportation.
  • Optimized building envelope and window-to-wall ratio during design for enhanced energy modeling.
  • Enhanced indoor air quality with planned use of MERV 13 filters and CO2 sensors.
  • To the extent possible, uses locally sourced materials and displays them in their natural form.
Robotics Innovation Center Outdoor Research Area Rendering

Research & Innovation

  • Future-planned incubator spaces will support early startups and the next generation of robotics companies.
  • A high bay and additional project spaces allow researchers to conduct integrated, translational research and seamlessly field test robots and autonomous systems across indoor, outdoor, aquatic and virtual environments.
  • An open-layout wet lab encourages interdisciplinary interactions among researchers and allows group collaborative project work, rather than supporting a specific researcher.
  • Various shops will be available for projects involving robotic development, translational research prototyping and learning new fabrication skills.
  • The facility includes 1.5-acre outdoor and ~50,000-square-foot indoor robot testing laboratories, as well as a 6,000-square-foot dedicated outdoor drone cage.
Robotics Innovation Center Connector Area Rendering

Community Engagement

  • The building's common spaces will be publicly accessible during certain hours, including the lobby, gallery, event space (with advance arrangements) and future food service area.
  • The perimeter enclosure of the "running room" robotics testing area will showcase public art developed with the Hazelwood community.
  • The construction manager (Gilbane + Mosites) will work with the Trade Institute of Pittsburgh and Builder’s Guild on a pre-apprenticeship program that engages the local community in workforce development during the building's construction.
  • CMU is a member of the Greater Hazelwood Community Collaborative (GHCC). The GHCC's mission is to "uniformly align resources to achieve enhanced economic, social and physical outcomes for all Greater Hazelwood community residents and stakeholders.” Read more about the Greater Hazelwood Community Plan.
  • In collaboration with the Hazelwood Initiativethe registered community development organization, multiple community meetings were held throughout the spring and summer of 2023 to share CMU’s plans for the RIC, discuss opportunities for community engagement and solicit community feedback. CMU will continue to engage and collaborate with the Greater Hazelwood community throughout construction and beyond.

Team Members

CMU's Campus Design and Facility Development staff worked in conjunction with the following organizations to complete the project: 

Perkins Eastman, Pittsburgh, PA - Principal Architect (Prime Designer)
Gilbane Mosites Joint Venture, Pittsburgh, PA - Construction Manager
Tishman Speyer, Pittsburgh, PA - Developer