Carnegie Mellon's National Robotics Engineering Consortium hosts open house to showcase robotic technologies

March 14, 2000

PITTSBURGH -- Carnegie Mellon University's National Robotics Engineering Consortium (NREC), assisted by the newly formed Pittsburgh Robotics Initiative (PRI), will host Pittsburgh Robotics Day, a celebration and showcase of robotics technology and industry in western Pennsylvania.

Robotics is experiencing a rebirth in the western Pennsylvania region. As many as 80 companies, and the NREC, are involved in robotic and automation-related technologies. The PRI, housed at Carnegie Mellon Research Institute, was funded with a grant from the Heinz Foundation. Its goal is to make the region as synonymous with robotics and automation as it once was with steel.

Backed by an initial $3 million grant from NASA, the Robotics Engineering Consortium opened in the summer of 1996 to commercialize mobile robotic technologies NASA has developed over the years by working directly with American industry. It began with three sponsors focused on projects in agriculture, excavation and materials handling. Today, with NASA's continued support, NREC scientists are working with more than 18 companies, industrial consortia and government agencies on projects including, automated harvester control, forktruck automation, machine sensors and controls, automated turf care, automated pot handling and tree surveying for the nursery industry, operator aids for mining, robotic gas line inspection and repair, automated paint stripping of ships, citrus spraying, grain handling and driver drowsiness monitoring.

EVENT: See exhibits and demonstrations illustrating the growth of robotics in western Pennsylvania. There will be 30 companies participating, in addition to Carnegie Mellon, the University of Pittsburgh and the Pennsylvania State University. Demonstrations will include: WHEN: 2 p.m., Monday, March 20.

WHERE: National Robotics Engineering Consortium Building 40th Street and the Allegheny River, Lawrenceville section of Pittsburgh.
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Carnegie Mellon University

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