RoboPGH

Pittsburgh Robotics Network

Why is Pittsburgh Ideal for Your Robotics Business?

Pittsburgh’s position as one of the top robotics research hubs in the U.S. has set it up to be a world leader in this industry. Pittsburgh is near the head of the pack, trailing only Boston but ahead of Silicon Valley and other robotics hotbeds such as Tokyo and Seoul, according to Gizmodo.

In 1999, when The Wall Street Journal bestowed the moniker of “Roboburgh” on Pittsburgh, some people may have wondered how a place that was once the “steel city” earned such a futuristic title. But Pittsburgh has only accelerated its drive to be on the cutting edge since then and is proving that it has what it takes to compete in the robotics big league.

What is it about Pittsburgh that allows it to capture attention — and investment dollars — from robotics and artificial intelligence giants such as Uber TechnologiesArgo AIBosch, Disney Research, and Delphi, to name a few?

It’s a trifecta of strengths, as I see it. While this is an oversimplification, it’s one way to present the case for landing — or expanding — a robotics business in Pittsburgh. Here are three areas that, in my opinion, help define this Pennsylvania city’s unique value proposition for robotics.

  • Talent
  • R&D horsepower + industry-advancing partnerships
  • Conventional infrastructure

For the full story, visit Robotics Business Review.

Pittsburgh Robotics Network Hosts First RoboPGH Day

Pittsburgh Robotics Network Hosts First RoboPGH Day

SURVEY TOUTS FIVE YEAR ROBOTICS COMPANY GROWTH AND JOB IMPACT

 

The Pittsburgh Robotics Network, a community of robotics companies, hosts the first ever RoboPGH Day to showcase the great success and growth of robotics since the 2011 visit of President Obama visit to Carnegie Mellon University’s National Robotics Engineering Center.  Robotics companies were joined by U.S. Congressman Mike Doyle, Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald, and City of Pittsburgh officials to highlight the company expansion and job growth and economic development impact over the last five years. 

In 2011, President Barack Obama selected Pittsburgh as the city to announce the National Robotics Initiative, a multi-agency effort to accelerate the development and use of robotics in the larger effort to promote the American Manufacturing Partnership. Since the announcement, Pittsburgh has unleashed a new generation of robotics companies.  

In a recent survey conducted by the Pittsburgh Robotics Network, since 2011, Pittsburgh has generated 19 new businesses that are providing robotics solutions to a wide variety of industries such as agriculture, defense, mining, health care, industrial inspection, transportation, and warehouse automation. Of the 40 robotics companies and research institutions associated with the Pittsburgh Robotics Network, over 1,500 new jobs have been added to the economy, a 300% growth in employment over a five-year period.   

“Robots play an important role in the local economy. In fact, we’ve experienced remarkable growth in this field since President Obama announced the launch of the National Robotics Initiative here five years ago. Over that short time, we’ve seen employment in local robotics companies skyrocket from 250 to more than 1500,” says Congressman Mike Doyle. “Robotics has become an important contributor to the economic resurgence of Pittsburgh – with one of the latest and largest developments being Uber’s establishment of an advanced technology center in Pittsburgh to develop self-driving vehicles. I believe that robotics and advanced manufacturing technology is critical for our region’s future economic growth. As a result, I have been a strong supporter of local efforts to support and promote Pittsburgh’s growth as a world leader in this field.”

“RoboPGH Day is an opportunity to highlight Pittsburgh’s emerging robotics ecosystem,” says Chris Osterwood, CTO of Carnegie Robotics and Founding Officer of the Pittsburgh Robotics Network.   “The companies represented today strive to challenge the status quo and are dedicated to driving innovation, growth while providing real world solutions.  The robotics companies of Pittsburgh will lead the advancement and innovation of industries across every sector today, and for generations to come. “

RoboPGH Day, was held at Carnegie Robotics, a spin-out from CMU’s National Robotics Engineering Center that reinvigorated an abandoned steel mill and is now an innovative robotics manufacturing hub. In the Carnegie Robotics high bay, twenty robotics companies from across the Pittsburgh area provided demonstrations ranging from autonomous solutions for ground and aerial vehicles, to autonomous warehouse logistics, dual robotic arms and robotic car seats.  RoboPGH Day is the first event to highlight the successful robotics industry growth and impact on the Pittsburgh economy.

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.