From Carnegie Mellon University: An independent institute founded by Carnegie Mellon University will receive more than $ 250 million to launch an advanced robotics manufacturing institute in Pittsburgh, the U.S. Department of Defense announced Friday.
The Department of Defense awarded the public-private Manufacturing USA institute to American Robotics, a nonprofit venture led by Carnegie Mellon, with more than 220 partners in industry, academia, government and the nonprofit sector nationwide. The institute will receive $80 million from the DOD, and an additional $173 million from the partner organizations. The Richard King Mellon Foundation played a particularly important role in catalyzing the CMU proposal.
The high-level award puts Pittsburgh and CMU at the center of a new wave of manufacturing, leveraging artificial intelligence, autonomy, 3-D printing and other emerging technologies to make industrial robotics more affordable for businesses of all sizes, adaptable for many uses, and able to achieve more.
Government, industry and academic leaders said this new generation of robotics has the potential to create large numbers of new jobs and fuel economic growth by putting the U.S. squarely in the lead on advanced manufacturing.
“This new institute will provide significant benefits to the region and the nation, while creating enormous opportunities for CMU scholars and researchers, and new momentum for the university,” said Carnegie Mellon President Subra Suresh, who spoke at Friday’s announcement at the Pentagon. “The institute, in return, will benefit from CMU’s expertise in technology, as well as its strengths in policy, ethics and human interfaces that will ensure that new technologies work to benefit humankind.”
Gary Fedder, CMU’s vice provost for research, was one of several university faculty and officials who led the development and preparation of the proposal for the institute, and who will play a pivotal role in its establishment.
“When the DOD announced its intention to create a new institute dedicated to robotics manufacturing, we knew that CMU’s historic strength in the field, leading to cutting-edge research underway today, gave us a great opportunity,” said Fedder, the Howard M. Wilkoff Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering and a professor at CMU’s Robotics Institute. “We were fortunate to build a team that brought complementary strengths from across the nation.”