Robots

Sarah Boden / 90.5 WESA

“We’re still hiring humans” proclaims a billboard situated just east of the 31st Street Bridge near Lawrenceville. On the sign, a coy, Pixar-looking automaton beckons engineers and programmers to apply to nearly a dozen positions at Carnegie Robotics.  

Carnegie Mellon University

Robots are able to perform a wide variety of tasks, from providing companionship to senior citizens to searching for survivors in the rubble of an earthquake, but they can't always reflect on how well they performed. 

Courtesy of Carnegie Mellon University

Carnegie Mellon University’s School of Computer Science and Sony Corporation are collaborating to create robots that can prepare and deliver food.

Southwestern Pennsylvania BotsIQ

Robots designed by teams of teens from 53 schools in southwestern Pennsylvania will compete in a two-day, gladiator-style tournament starting Friday.

The aim of the Southwestern Pennsylvania BotsIQ competition, which is being hosted at California University of Pennsylvania, is to get high schoolers to think creatively and collaboratively, while also exposing them to careers in manufacturing.

BotsIQ executive director Michel Conklin said the robots are judged on a variety of criteria.

Chris Choi / Carnegie Mellon University

Cylindrical in shape, about 3 feet long and undeterred by radioactive waste, RadPiper is a robot developed by a team of scientists at Carnegie Mellon University's Robotics Institute to detect traces of nuclear material at a U.S. Department of Energy facility in Piketon, Ohio. 

Carnegie Mellon University

A team of students from Carnegie Mellon University was one of eight squads world-wide selected earlier this month by Amazon to compete in its Alexa Prize challenge.

The goal is to develop "socialbot" artificial intelligence software that can hold engaging conversations with people on a wide range of topics, like sports and current events. 

Kathleen J. Davis / WESA

A Lawrenceville-based robotics company is collaborating with UCLA’s Biomechatronics Laboratory to make robots for the U.S. Navy. The goal is to create robots that can disarm underwater explosives, keeping military personnel away from dangerous environments.

Vadim Ghirda / AP

Pittsburgh-based RE2 Robotics penned a contract this week with the U.S. Air Force to create robotic pilots for military planes.

Mark Nootbaar / 90.5 WESA

CMU Robotics Institute assistant professor Stelian Coros was working to find ways to make animated characters navigate their simulated environments, such as in a video game or a movie, when he realized his work could be used to design and virtually test robots.

“And what I’m really excited about is moving towards a new paradigm where robots will be able to approach the complexity of biological structures in both form and in function,” Coros said. 

Marketplace/Carnegie Mellon's Biorobotics Lab

Marketplace Morning Report is wrapping up a three-week series, “Robot-Proof Jobs.” Host David Brancaccio hit the road for the stories talking to workers and experts from Pittsburgh and New Castle, Pa. to Milwaukee, Wis. The reporting also drew on the findings of The McKinsey Global Institute, which analyzed the work activities of more than 800 occupations in the U.S. to determine what percentage of a job could be automated using current technology.

Brancaccio spoke with 90.5 WESA’s Larkin Page-Jacobs about what he learned on the road.

Larkin Page-Jacobs / 90.5 WESA

 


 

Robots are great at doing a lot of things, but they have trouble interacting with the physical world. That challenge is being tackled by roboticists in Pittsburgh — and they’re looking to infants for inspiration.

Uber / uber.com

Imagine it’s the future and you’re riding down the road in your autonomous vehicle when suddenly it starts to downpour. Your vehicle wakes you up, says they don’t feel comfortable driving in the conditions and hand you the wheel. That responsible robotic action is one of the thoughts behind a recent workshop that examined how engineers can create safe and controlled artificial intelligence technologies. William Scherlis, director of the Institute for Software Research in Carnegie Mellon University’s School of Computer Science joins us to talk about the concept and the dialogue at the workshop.

Meet Herb, A Robot To One Day Help Around The House

May 24, 2016
Carnegie Mellon University

Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University's Personal Robotics Lab have spent years working on ways to make robots execute subtle, human-like movements in the hopes of helping around the house. 

With cameras for eyes, two thick arms and the occasional bowtie, Herb – an acronym for home exploring robot butler – only recently learned to move a cup across a table.

"We’re trying to get robots to be able to work in a home environment," said Carnegie Mellon University Ph.D. student Jennifer King.