Carnegie Mellon University
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Illah Nourbakhsh
Professor, RI
Office: NSH 3105
Phone: (412) 268-2007
Fax: 412-268-5571
  Mailing address:
Carnegie Mellon University
Robotics Institute
5000 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213
Administrative Assistant: Karen R. Widmaier
Affiliated Center(s):
 Center for the Foundations of Robotics (CFR)
Personal Homepage

News and Media
CMU, Airviz Will Make Air Quality Monitors Available to Libraries
March 15, 2016. Learning about the quality of the air you breathe should be as easy and inexpensive as borrowing a book from a library, and that’s why Carnegie Mellon University researchers plan to provide free Speck air quality monitors to 100 public libraries nationwide.
SpeckSensor App Compares Air Quality Locally and Across the Nation
November 02, 2015. A new smartphone app called SpeckSensor allows users to get up-to-date Air Quality Index (AQI) numbers for their current location and for other locales of their choosing, enabling them to quickly see if the air they are breathing is healthy and how it compares to other sites.
Faculty Will Share Visions Of Robots, A.I., and Big Data at “Summer Davos”
September 03, 2015. Carnegie Mellon University is sending the largest delegation of any university to the World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting of the New Champions in Dalian, China, next week, along with robots and Big Data visualization demonstrations that will run throughout the three-day event.
“Make For Humanity” Campaign Launches in D.C.
June 11, 2015. A new campaign, “Make for Humanity,” begins this week, seeking to harness the excitement and creativity surrounding the growing Maker Movement to improve the world, one community at a time. Carnegie Mellon University’s Illah Nourbakhsh will launch “M4H” in a keynote address Friday sponsored by Infosys at the White House’s “Week of Making.”
Robotics Institute Spinoff Introduces Speck, Personal Air Quality Monitor
March 16, 2015. Speck, a personal air pollution monitor introduced today at the SXSW Interactive Festival in Austin, Texas, will enable people to monitor the level of fine particulate matter suspended in the air inside their homes, helping them assess if their health is at risk. Developed at the Robotics Institute and now being marketed by a CMU spinoff company, Speck provides individuals with an unprecedented depth of knowledge about their personal exposure to particulates.
Nourbakhsh Book: Don't Let A Robot Take Your Child's Future Career
March 09, 2015. Illah Nourbakhsh says robots and artificial intelligence will increasingly displace people from many conventional jobs. It’s enough to make parents despair over their children’s career prospects, he acknowledged, and that’s why he’s publishing a pair of books, “Parenting for Technology Futures.”
Breathe Cam Lets Citizens Document Pittsburgh’s Air Pollution
December 03, 2014. A system of four cameras, called Breathe Cam, now keeps a constant watch on air quality over Pittsburgh, providing citizens with a new interactive tool for monitoring and documenting visual pollution in the air they breathe and even tracing it back to its sources. Funded by The Heinz Endowments as part of its Breathe Project, the camera system was developed and deployed by the CREATE Lab in Carnegie Mellon University’s Robotics Institute.
Electric Garage Adds Tesla High-Power Charger for Public Use
March 31, 2014. A high-power wall connector for Tesla electric cars has been installed for public use at Carnegie Mellon University’s Electric Garage in Oakland, joining eight existing vehicle recharging stations. The garage at 4621 Forbes Ave. will host an open house to celebrate the addition from 4 to 7 p.m., April 4.
Carlow Launches Satellite of Carnegie Mellon’s CREATE Lab
March 26, 2014. Carlow University has received a $205,000 grant commitment from the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation to establish a satellite on its campus of Carnegie Mellon University’s CREATE Lab. The satellite will join three previously established CREATE Lab satellites at Marshall University, West Virginia University and West Liberty University in West Virginia.
CMU Robotics Kits To Be Integrated Into PA, WV Middle Schools
October 07, 2013. An innovative program that introduces robotic technology into non-technical middle school classes will be used by suburban Pittsburgh and rural West Virginia schools in a federally funded research project to identify and nurture students with an affinity for science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).
Robotics Institute Helps Make Stunning Satellite Imagery Easily Accessible
May 09, 2013. Members of the public can now easily explore almost 30 years of Earth imagery from NASA’s Landsat through TIME Magazine’s new Timelapse project. The project is a collaborative effort between TIME, Google, NASA and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), with the assistance of Carnegie Mellon University’s Robotics Institute.
Nourbakhsh's Book Suggests Humans Brace Themselves for Robo-Innovation
March 25, 2013. Robots already vacuum our floors, help dispose of bombs and are exploring Mars. But in his new book, “Robot Futures,” Illah Nourbakhsh, professor of robotics at Carnegie Mellon University, argues that robots are not just wondrous machines, but a new species that bridges the material and digital worlds. The ramifications for society are both good and bad, he says, and people need to start thinking about that.
Knight Gets “Medieval” on Robot Combat League
February 15, 2013. Heather Knight is accustomed to working with a 2-foot-tall, plastic-bodied humanoid robot named Data, a robot comedian that is part of her research on social robotics. As a contestant on a new Syfy series, however, she controls a much different beast: an 8-foot-tall fighting robot called Medieval. Made of steel and chain mail and brandishing a shield, Medieval is one of 12 robots built especially for Robot Combat League, which premieres at 10 p.m. ET on Feb. 26. Seeks to Tell the Rest of the Story
December 03, 2012., a web site co-founded by Illah Nourbakhsh, professor of robotics at Carnegie Mellon University, will share the insights of leading thinkers and experts in robotics regarding the popular news media’s coverage of robotics.
Robotics Institute and Google Create New Tool for Accessing Imagery
July 30, 2012. Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University’s Robotics Institute, working with colleagues at Google and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), have adapted their technology for interactively exploring time-lapse imagery to create a tool that enables anyone to easily access 13 years of NASA Landsat images of the Earth’s surface.
Kit Can Turn Artwork and Crafts Into Robots
July 10, 2012. Almost anything that can be made with paper, paint and cardboard can be animated with an educational robotics kit developed at Carnegie Mellon University’s Robotics Institute. No technical experience is necessary to use the kit, but classroom teachers say it fosters interest in technology among students ages 11 and up. The kit, called Hummingbird, is now available for sale ($199) through a CMU spinoff company, BirdBrain Technologies.
Inside Science Explores GigaPan Time Machine
March 08, 2012. Inside Science Television, produced by the American Institute of Physics, features GigaPan and GigaPan Time Machine in a new video. The GigaPan system, developed by the Robotics Institute's CREATE Lab and NASA, enables ordinary digital cameras to produce panoramic images and videos that can be interactively explored on a computer monitor.
GigaPan-like Photomosaic Reveals Prehistoric Elephant Behavior
February 22, 2012. Two members of the Fine Outreach for Science Fellows program used the photomosaic techniques promoted by the Carnegie Mellon University program to study the long trackway of a herd of prehistoric elephants, resulting in new insights into the social behavior of these creatures. The findings were published Feb. 22 in the journal Biology Letters.
Nourbakhsh Wins Carnegie Science Award
February 03, 2012. The Carnegie Science Center has named Illah Nourbakhsh, professor of robotics, as the winner of the Catalyst Award in this year’s Carnegie Science Awards. The Catalyst Award recognizes excellence in promoting public awareness of scientific issues, and advancing science in society to bring about measurable, beneficial change.
GigaPan Time Machine Aids Discovery About Black Holes
December 12, 2011. With the help of GigaPan Time Machine, researchers at Carnegie Mellon University’s Bruce and Astrid McWilliams Center for Cosmology have discovered what caused the rapid growth of early supermassive black holes. GigaPan Time Machine, developed by the Robotics Institute’s CREATE Lab, aided astrophysicists Tiziana Di Matteo and Rupert Croft in analyzing MassiveBlack, a recreation of the first billion years after the Big Bang and the largest cosmological simulation to date.
CREATE Lab Releases New GigaPan Time Machine Data
November 17, 2011. The Robotics Institute’s GigaPan Time Machine project has released eight new data sets, including a 24-hour observation of the sun by NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory spacecraft. Like previous Time Machines, the dynamic imagery can be explored interactively across both time and space. Read Scientific American’s story.
CREATE Lab Wins Data Hero Award
May 10, 2011. The Robotics Institute’s CREATE Lab, which recently unveiled its GigaPan Time Machine for exploring high-resolution videos, is the winner in the media category of the 2011 Data Hero Awards. The awards, announced May 9, were created this year by EMC Corp. to honor innovative uses of Big Data to profoundly impact individuals, organizations, industries and the world.
ChargeCar hosts open house, unveils prototype
March 28, 2011. Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University unveiled an all-electric 2002 Honda Civic, the production prototype for their ChargeCar Electric Vehicle Conversion Project, and began taking names of people who want their own converted vehicle at an open house Friday, March 25 at the Electric Garage, 4621 Forbes Ave., in Oakland. U.S. Rep. Mike Doyle and Pittsburgh City Council member Bill Peduto were among those on hand. Watch the video.
Carnegie Museum Extends GigaPan Gallery Show Through July
January 04, 2011. The Carnegie Museum of Natural History has extended through July its display of the juried gallery show from last fall’s Fine International Conference on Gigapixel Imaging for Science.
Science By The Billboard
September 30, 2010. A “bait ball” of salema fish swirling off the Galapagos Islands, one of the world’s largest Adelie penguin colonies basking on an Antarctic beach and ancient petroglyphs in northern Saudi Arabia depicting hunters and their prey are three of the arresting scientific panoramas selected for a juried gallery show in conjunction with the Fine International Conference on Gigapixel Imagery for Science, Nov. 11-13.
ChargeCar Announces Contest To Optimize EV Performance
August 03, 2010. Researchers in Carnegie Mellon University’s electric car conversion project, ChargeCar, have announced a contest to find the most efficient methods for managing power in their electric vehicles. The grand prize of the ChargeCarPrize contest is an electric car.
GigaPan Imagery of Civil War Trails Now Online
April 02, 2010. People can now explore Pennsylvania’s Civil War Trails online with the help of Carnegie Mellon’s GigaPan technology and Google Earth. The Robotics Institute’s CREATE Lab produced gigapixel panoramas, or GigaPans, of Civil War battlegrounds, cemeteries, museum exhibits, monuments and other sites of interest to Civil War enthusiasts that can now be accessed by anyone via a Pennsylvania Tourism Office Web site,
GigaPan To Help Lakota Teens Document Their Community
September 03, 2009. Twenty Lakota high school students from the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota will learn how Carnegie Mellon University’s GigaPan robotic camera can help them document their community during National Geographic’s Pine Ridge Photo Camp.
GigaPan School Exchange Expands This Fall
August 31, 2009. The GigaPan School Exchange, a 21st century “pen pal” program, established by Carnegie Mellon University’s Global Connection Program in partnership with the UNESCO International Bureau of Education (IBE), will expand this fall.
ChargeCar Batteries
Ben Brown shows us the ChargeCar Intelligent Battery System
March 25, 2011 - Length: 00:44