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In 1979, Carnegie Mellon University established a Robotics Institute as part of its curriculum, the first for any university in the country. Today, that institute is considered one of the leading centers for robotic research in the world, and many of its alumni have gone on to work for both NASA and the private sector. Other graduates, meanwhile, have started their own companies, such as Bossa Nova Robotics in the Strip District. Not content with just being known for its research, however, CMU created the Robot Hall of Fame in 2003 in order to honor both real-world robotic achievements as well as such fictional versions as Robby the Robot from Forbidden Planet, C3PO and R2-D2 from Star Wars and Gort from The Day the Earth Stood Still. Pittsburgh is also the home to not one but two artists who specialize in robotic creations, making robots—both real as well as fictional—an integral part of the Steel City’s culture.


Robots and Pittsburgh

The Robots of Westinghouse The Pittsburgh-based manufacturing company was at the forefront of robotic design and creation during the first half of the Twentieth Century, including Elektro the Moto-Man.

The Carnegie Mellon University Robotics Institute Author Lee Gutkind spotlights the Pittsburgh-based institution in his book Almost Human: Making Robots Think, based on inside access to the facility.

Heather Knight: Smart is the New Sexy The CMU roboticist appeared on the April 2013 cover of Wired UK, was a participant on SyFy’s Robot Combat League and named the fourth “sexiest scientist alive.”

Pittsburgh and the Art of Robots The Steel City has not one but two local artists who craft robots, Toby Atticus Fraley and Don L. Jones, and their artistic achievements have appeared throughout the city.


Geek Pittsburgh News Blog

CMU Finishes Second at RoboCup 2013 A team of soccer-playing robots from Carnegie Mellon University once again participated in the annual event, which was held in Eindhoven, the Netherlands (July 5, 2013).

Disney Research and Robotic Interaction The Pittsburgh facility has been able to use motion capture technology to “teach” a robot how to anticipate human movements and act accordingly (May 30, 2013).

The DARPA Challenge and CMU Carnegie Mellon University is once again a participant in the robotic competition, having found success in three previous “challenges” sponsored by DARPA (May 29, 2013).

HERB vs. the Oreo Cookie HERB, the Carnegie Mellon University resident robot, learns how to separate the cookie from the cream of an Oreo in an online video promotion available on YouTube (March 19, 2013).

Personal Robots of the Present and Future Bossa Nova Robotics unveils mObi, the latest entry into the growing field of personal robots that may someday be the wave of the future (January 21, 2013).

Robot Hall of Fame Snubs Rosie from The Jetsons ToonSeum executive director Joe Wos considers the failure to induct the robotic maid into the Robot Hall of Fame to be a grave injustice (December 23, 2012).


Geek Pittsburgh Photo Galleries

The Robot Hall of Fame The Carnegie Science Center features replicas of many of the film and television robots that have been inducted in the Carnegie Mellon University-sponsored Robot Hall of Fame.


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