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The Robotics Institute

Carnegie Mellon Robotics Institute

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Strategy Based on Human Reflexes May Keep Legged Robots and Prosthetic Legs From Tripping
November 18, 2015. Trips and stumbles too often lead to falls for amputees using leg prosthetics, but a robotic leg prosthesis being developed at Carnegie Mellon University promises to help users recover their balance by using techniques based on the way human legs are controlled.
"RoboTutor" Team Building Software To Teach Basic Skills Without a Teacher
November 17, 2015. Can children learn to read, write and do basic arithmetic without a teacher or classroom, relying only on tablet computers, each other and some intelligent software? A team of educational researchers from Carnegie Mellon University aims to find out in the $15 million Global Learning XPRIZE competition.
Shenango Channel Provides Online Resource For Sharing Images, Data About Coke Plant
November 16, 2015. Citizens and government officials are using a new online resource, the Shenango Channel, that uses Carnegie Mellon University computer technology to share, compile and analyze images and air quality data related to a coke plant on Allegheny County’s Neville Island.
Web Tool Helps People Visualize, Make Sense of Large Complex Datasets
November 10, 2015. Datasets for everything from gene expression to employment demographics are growing so large and complex that automated methods sometimes seem the only way to glean knowledge from them. But a new web-based tool being developed at Carnegie Mellon University provides the option to keep human judgment and intuition in the analytic loop.
System Helps Novices Design 3D-Printable Robotic Creatures
November 09, 2015. Even a novice can design and build a customized walking robot using a 3-D printer and off-the-shelf servo motors with the help of a new design tool developed by Disney Research and Carnegie Mellon University.
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.
IBM Research, Carnegie Mellon Create Open Platform To Help the Blind Navigate Surroundings
October 15, 2015. Scientists from IBM Research and Carnegie Mellon University have announced the first open source platform designed to support the creation of smartphone apps that enable the blind to better navigate their surroundings.
Embedded Optical Sensors Could Make Robotic Hands More Dexterous
September 28, 2015. Optical sensors may be uniquely suited for use in robotic hands, according to Carnegie Mellon University researchers who have developed a three-fingered soft robotic hand with multiple embedded fiber optic sensors. They also have created a new type of stretchable optical sensor.
Software Helps Create Sign Language Dictionaries, Voice-activated Games for Hearing Impaired
September 15, 2015. Carnegie Mellon University’s TechBridgeWorld research group today announced the release of open source software that can help educators of children with hearing disabilities create video dictionaries of sign languages and use games that encourage vocalization by children learning to speak.
Robotics Institute Welcomes New Faculty Members
September 14, 2015.
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.
Moore Named One of 50 Most Powerful People in Pittsburgh
September 02, 2015. Pittsburgh magazine’s annual listing of the 50 Most Powerful People includes Andrew Moore, dean of the School of Computer Science and a professor of robotics and computer science.
HERB and CHIMP Star in National Geographic’s “Robots”
September 01, 2015. HERB, the robot butler, and CHIMP, the semi-humanoid that was one of the top finishers in the DARPA Robotics Challenge in June, share the silver screen with such robots as Honda’s ASIMO, Boston Dynamics’ Atlas and a European consortium’s iCUB humanoid in National Geographic Studio’s latest film, Robots.
Manuela Veloso Will Keynote Grace Hopper Celebration
August 11, 2015. Manuela Veloso, the Herbert A. Simon University Professor of Computer Science, will be the keynote speaker at this year’s Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing, Oct. 14-16 in Houston.
Robotics Hub Will Leverage CMU’s Rich Talent Pool to Foster Pittsburgh Startups
August 11, 2015. A Pittsburgh venture capital fund, Coal Hill Ventures, is launching a new business accelerator, dubbed the Robotics Hub, to identify, build, and guide the most promising startups – regardless of origin - in the burgeoning field of advanced robotics. GE Ventures is its founding sponsor.
Depth-sensing Camera Gleans 3-D Information In Bright Sunlight as Well as Darkness
August 10, 2015. Depth-sensing cameras, such as Microsoft’s Kinect controller for video games, have become widely used 3-D sensors. Now, a new imaging technology invented by Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Toronto addresses a major shortcoming of these cameras: the inability to work in bright light, especially sunlight.
CMU Wins 5th International RoboCup Championship
July 28, 2015. Carnegie Mellon University’s robot soccer team took home its fifth world championship without allowing a single goal at the 2015 RoboCup on July 22 in Heifi, China. The CMDragons won the final round of the Small Size League (SSL) 5-0 over MRL, a team from Qazvin Islamic Azad University in Iran.
Look, Ma, No Hands: CMU Vehicle Steered Itself Across The Country 20 Years Ago
July 16, 2015. A self-driving car made headlines this year when it drove cross country by itself. Carnegie Mellon's NavLab 5 also made headlines for a similar feat -- 20 years ago.
Time Video Highlights CMU’s Role in Pittsburgh’s Comeback
July 10, 2015. A newly released video from Time magazine, Pittsburgh: The Comeback, highlights the role of technology, and particularly the contributions of Carnegie Mellon University, in the revitalization of Pittsburgh. SCS Dean Andrew Moore and Robotics Institute Director Marital Hebert are among the community leaders interviewed on camera.
“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.”
CHIMP Finishes Third In DARPA Robotics Challenge
June 07, 2015. CHIMP, a four-limbed robot designed and built by Carnegie Mellon University’s Tartan Rescue Team, finished third and won $500,000 June 6 at the DARPA Robotics Challenge (DRC), a two-day event that pitted 24 of the world’s most advanced robots against each other in a test of their ability to respond to disasters.
CHIMP Robot Gets Ready For DARPA Robotics Challenge Finals
May 26, 2015. “Faster” is the byword for the Tartan Rescue Team from Carnegie Mellon University’s National Robotics Engineering Center (NREC) as it makes final preparations for the DARPA Robotics Challenge (DRC) Finals June 5-6.
Hear Me 101 Student Documentaries Premiere May 14
May 12, 2015. Students from three local high schools will screen documentary videos they produced through the CREATE Lab's Hear Me 101 Project at Pittsburgh Filmmakers Melwood Screening Room on Thursday evening, May 14, after which they will be available for online viewing at
Carnegie Mellon and Astrobotic Awarded NASA Contracts To Develop Prospecting Technologies for Moon, Planets
May 01, 2015. NASA’s Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Program has awarded $375,000 in contracts to Astrobotic Technology and Carnegie Mellon University to develop sensing and navigation technologies for finding minerals and other resources on the Moon, Mars, and other planetary bodies.
An Unpowered Exoskeleton Springs Into Action: Researchers Increase Walking Efficiency
April 01, 2015. Carnegie Mellon University’s Steve Collins and his collaborator Greg Sawicki at North Carolina State University have discovered a way to make humans more efficient at walking. In a new report in the journal Nature, they describe a lightweight, unpowered, wearable exoskeleton they developed to reduce the energy cost of human walking.
Girls of Steel Team Wins Chairman’s Award in Regional FIRST® Robotics Competition
April 01, 2015. The Girls of Steel, a team of teen-aged girls sponsored by the Field Robotics Center, won the Chairman’s Award at the Buckeye Regional FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) in Cleveland March 28, qualifying the team for its fifth consecutive trip to the FRC Championship, April 22-25, in St. Louis, Mo.
Autodesk Executive to Kick Off Reality Computing Partnership
March 31, 2015. Carnegie Mellon University's Integrative Design, Arts and Technology Network (IDeATe) and Autodesk Inc., a world leader in 3-D design software, are launching a Reality Computing studio course for advanced undergraduate and graduate students that will be taught by the Robotics Institute's Pyry Matikainen.
Turning Your Smartphone Into a Ruler
March 30, 2015. Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University have developed a way to use a smartphone’s sensors to build 3-D models of faces or other objects and — literally, with the wave of a hand — provide accurate measurements of those objects.
Automated Braille Writing Tutor Wins Touch of Genius Prize
March 24, 2015. An innovative device developed by Carnegie Mellon University’s TechBridgeWorld research group to help visually impaired students learn how to write Braille using a slate and stylus is the winner of the 2014 Louis Braille Touch of Genius Prize for Innovation.
Snake Robots Learn To Turn By Following the Lead of Real Sidewinders
March 23, 2015. Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University who develop snake-like robots have picked up a few tricks from real sidewinder rattlesnakes on how to make rapid and even sharp turns with their undulating, modular device. Working with colleagues at the Georgia Institute of Technology and Zoo Atlanta, they have analyzed the motions of sidewinders and tested their observations on CMU’s snake robots.
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.”
International Competitors Join CMU Teams in DARPA Robotics Challenge
March 05, 2015. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency has qualified 14 additional teams, including competitors from Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Japan, China and South Korea, to join teams from Carnegie Mellon University and elsewhere in the DARPA Robotics Challenge (DRC) Finals, June 5-6 in Pomona, Calif.
Students Will Flight Test Sensor Package For Modeling Pits on Moon and Mars
March 05, 2015. A team of Carnegie Mellon University undergraduates is heading to California’s Mojave Desert this spring to flight test a sensor package they developed for analyzing large pits in the surface of the moon or Mars.
Women Place Their Stamp On Robotics Conference
February 26, 2015. The IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, or ICRA, is the world’s largest robotics conference and, like members of the robotics field, its organizers predominantly have been men. This year, however, the conference committee is composed entirely of women, with Carnegie Mellon University providing one of the largest contingents.
New Space Race: Astrobotic Will Deliver Competitor’s Robots To The Moon
February 25, 2015. Astrobotic Technology, which is pursuing the Google Lunar XPrize together with Carnegie Mellon University, will not only deliver its own robot to the moon, but also a pair of rovers for Hakuto, the only Japanese team in the competition.
Autonomous Drone Flies in Dark, Tight Quarters To Assist Naval Firefighters
February 04, 2015. In a demonstration aboard a former U.S. Navy ship, a small quadrotor developed by researchers at Carnegie Mellon University’s Robotics Institute and spin-off company Sensible Machines flew autonomously through dark, smoke-filled compartments to map fires and locate victims.
Uber, Carnegie Mellon Announce Strategic Partnership
February 02, 2015. Uber and Carnegie Mellon University have announced a strategic partnership that includes the creation of the Uber Advanced Technologies Center in Pittsburgh, near the CMU campus. The center will focus on the development of key long-term technologies that advance Uber’s mission of bringing safe, reliable transportation to everyone, everywhere.
Google Lunar X Prize Awards $1 Million to Astrobotic
January 26, 2015. The Google Lunar XPrize has awarded a $1 million Milestone Prize to Astrobotic Technology for achieving technical goals set for its lunar landing system. It is the third Milestone Prize awarded to the Astrobotic and Carnegie Mellon University team that is preparing to land its robot on the moon.
Six-legged “Snake Monster” Is First of New Robot Breed
January 12, 2015. Carnegie Mellon University’s latest robot is called Snake Monster, however, with six legs, it looks more like an insect than a snake. But it really doesn’t matter what you call it, says its inventor, Howie Choset— the whole point of the project is to make modular robots that can easily be reconfigured to meet a user’s needs.