Pittsburgh firms on front line of robotics technology revolution

Pittsburgh Tribune

RoBotany's vertical garden, tended to completely by robots, can grow a pound of cilantro, basil, arugula or baby spinach a day in space once occupied by a conference table.

HuMoTech just landed a contract with the Department of Defense to use its robotic technology to help disabled veterans choose the right prosthetic leg.

And BirdBrain Technologies has developed a robotic kit that empowers children around the world to build their own robots, learning about coding, engineering and design along the way.

These companies and about 40 more make up the emerging robotic industry in Pittsburgh. Several Pittsburgh robotic companies showed off their technology Wednesday during the first RoboPGH Day at Carnegie Robotics in Lawrenceville.

 Aaron Nicely of West Mifflin and a representative for RE2 operates the company's 2 Arm Highly Dexterous Manipulation System at RoboPGH Day at Carnegie Robotics in Lawrenceville.

Aaron Nicely of West Mifflin and a representative for RE2 operates the company's 2 Arm Highly Dexterous Manipulation System at RoboPGH Day at Carnegie Robotics in Lawrenceville.

Today the world is experiencing the emergence of the next generation of robotics technology. It’s not just transforming industry. It’s transforming our society.
— U.S. Rep. Mike Doyle

For the full story, visit the Pittsburgh Tribune Article.

Robots on display as Pittsburgh shows off tech

 Tom Lauwers, Chief Roboticist for the CMU Create Lab spinout BirdBrain Technologies, with a Hummingbird Robotics Kit robot.  Combining arts and crafts with robotics and engineering, BirdBrain Technologies robotics programs are implemented in local school districts such as North Allegheny, Mt. Lebanon, and South Fayette.

Tom Lauwers, Chief Roboticist for the CMU Create Lab spinout BirdBrain Technologies, with a Hummingbird Robotics Kit robot.  Combining arts and crafts with robotics and engineering, BirdBrain Technologies robotics programs are implemented in local school districts such as North Allegheny, Mt. Lebanon, and South Fayette.

 Carnegie Robotics was showing off its MultiSense SL, a robot-first 3D sensor that has been used for a wide variety of robotic applications including the DARPA Robotics Challenge, mine mapping, and autonomous robots that spray nitrogen in corn fields.

Carnegie Robotics was showing off its MultiSense SL, a robot-first 3D sensor that has been used for a wide variety of robotic applications including the DARPA Robotics Challenge, mine mapping, and autonomous robots that spray nitrogen in corn fields.


 HEBI Robotics engineer Alex Schepelmann and Business Developer Bob Raida with a demonstration of HEBI's modular joints, perfect for rapid developing and building robotic arms.  

HEBI Robotics engineer Alex Schepelmann and Business Developer Bob Raida with a demonstration of HEBI's modular joints, perfect for rapid developing and building robotic arms.  

 Paul Scerri, co-creator of the Carnegie Mellon University spinout Platypus, with the Lutra Airboat.  An autonomous boat, the Lutra Airboat can help determine the health of a body of water while causing little water disruption.  Platypus products can be found on 6 continents.  

Paul Scerri, co-creator of the Carnegie Mellon University spinout Platypus, with the Lutra Airboat.  An autonomous boat, the Lutra Airboat can help determine the health of a body of water while causing little water disruption.  Platypus products can be found on 6 continents.  


For the full story, visit the Pittsburgh Business Times Article.

White House to award $300M in new initiatives at Pittsburgh conference

The recently created Pittsburgh Robotics Network held its first RoboPGH Day, a demonstration day for 20 Pittsburgh-area robotics companies.

Hosted by Carnegie Robotics — a Carnegie Mellon University spinoff that designs robotics systems for clients — the site of the demonstration itself spoke to why the Frontiers Conference was being held in Pittsburgh and not Silicon Valley.

The company’s location in Lawrenceville is in a former steel supply company building that had fallen into disrepair. But after the Regional Industrial Development Corp. renovated the massive building, in 2015 Carnegie Robotics moved there and its quickly expanding workforce continues to take up more and more of the space.

“We have 65 employees now and had 40 when we moved here, and we expect to grow even more quickly,” said Steve DiAntonio, Carnegie Robotics CEO.

The robotics network, which formed earlier this year, says that there are now 40 robotics companies in Pittsburgh with about 2,200 employees. That is twice as many companies and three times as many employees as there were four years ago.

“Southwestern Pennsylvania, which I’m proud to represent, has been and continues to be a leader in the world of robotics,” U.S. Rep. Mike Doyle, who co-chairs the House Robotics Caucus, told the gathering. “That’s one of the reasons the president chose Pittsburgh for the Frontiers Conference.”

Southwestern Pennsylvania, which I’m proud to represent, has been and continues to be a leader in the world of robotics
— U.S. Rep. Mike Doyle
  1. For the full story, please visit the Pittsburgh Post Gazette Article.