History of the Robotics Institute

40 years ago Carnegie Mellon University’s Robotics Institute opened its doors with the dream of ushering in a new age of thinking robots. During the ensuing decades, we have experienced many research successes in intelligent manufacturing, autonomous vehicles, space-related robots, medical robotics, nano-machines, computer vision and graphics and anthropomorphic robots.

The possibility of initiating Robotics research at CMU was raised by President Dick Cyert at a meeting attended by Dan Berg(Dean of MCS), Angel Jordan(Dean of CIT), Allen Newell and Raj Reddy in Fall 1978/Spring of 1979. He was told that to reach critical mass of we will need 5 to 10 faculty and annual funding of 2 to 5 million dollars. Cyert went with Reddy to the Pentagon leading to commitment from Admiral Bacchicco of ONR and arranged a meeting with President Tom Murrin who was broadly responsible for Technology at Westinghouse. With a 5-year five-million-dollar commitment from Murrin and identification of key engineering faculty by Jordan, Robotics Institute was launched in October 1979.



The CMURobotics YouTube Channel has an archive of historical video dating back to 1982.