Robotics Institute

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Robotics Institute
Robotics Institute logo.svg
Established 1979
Type Private
Location Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Campus Urban

The Robotics Institute (RI) is a division of the School of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States. It is considered the world leader in robotics research.

The RI was established in 1979, and was the first robotics department at any US university.[1] In 1988 CMU became the first university in the world offering a Ph.D. in Robotics.

In 2012, the total number of people in the RI (faculty, staff, students, postdocs, visitors) was over 500,[1] and the RI annual budget was over $65M,[1] making the RI one of the largest robotics research organizations in the world.

The RI occupies facilities on the Carnegie Mellon main campus as well as in the Lawrenceville and Hazelwood neighborhoods of Pittsburgh, totaling almost 200,000 sq. ft of indoor space and 40 acres of outdoor test facilities.

Major centers[edit]

The National Robotics Engineering Center (NREC) was established in 1996 as the commercialization arm of the RI, and has been very successful at applying robotics technology to commercial and defense applications. The RI and NREC also develop curricula and software for using robots in K-12 and college education.

The Field Robotics Center (FRC) has developed a number of significant robots, including Sandstorm and H1ghlander, which finished second and third in the 2005 DARPA Grand Challenge, and Boss, which won the 2007 DARPA Grand Challenge.

Media coverage and awards[edit]

The book Almost Human: Making Robots Think by Lee Gutkind[2] describes the development of robots at the Robotics Institute, particularly focusing on the developers and describing field testing in remote locations.

The robot HERB was featured in the "Oreo Separator" video series.[3][4]

RI robots and researchers have been featured in the Scientific American Frontiers episode "Natural Born Robots"[5] and in multiple NPR radio segments.[6][7][8][9][10]

The Advanced Robotic Laser Coating Removal System (ARLCRS) won a 2013 Edison Award gold award in the category of materials science processes.[11]

Notable faculty (current and past)[edit]


Companies started by RI faculty or alumni[edit]


External links[edit]