Carnegie Mellon University

Screengrab / DisneyResearchHUB on YouTube

Imagine turning on your motorcycle and then the smart watch you're wearing automatically vocalizes the estimated time to return home based on current traffic patterns.

Carnegie Mellon University teamed with Disney Research to create technology for smart watches that can do just that -- detect what the user is holding to offer related information.

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Updated: 3:15 p.m.  

Carnegie Mellon University is facing renewed criticism over its alleged role in a massive takedown of "Dark Web" sites last year.  

Jennifer Szweda Jordan / 90.5 WESA

Smart home resident Michael Rankin loves his oven. 

“If you put your arm on it, you don’t get burned,” he said.

The induction stovetop, which works by heating only when certain types of pots or pans are on top, stays cool to the touch even when it’s being used. That technology is one of a myriad of clever features incorporated into a "smart home" in Aliquippa designed to cater to its four inhabitants all living with disabilities.

If you’ve ever played the party game ‘Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon,’ you’ll get the gist of Carnegie Mellon University’s latest digital humanities project pretty quickly. 

Six Degrees of Francis Bacon is a web tool that maps the complex social network of Britain during the early modern period. It’s based on analysis of biographical records for more than 13,000 contemporaries of the philosopher and statesman Sir Francis Bacon.

Researcher's Port Authority Sensors Help Smooth Your Ride Into Work

Nov 10, 2015
Jennifer Szweda Jordan / 90

If you've ever ridden a subway, you've probably experienced a bump in the tracks that could send your coffee onto another rider.

George Lederman, doctoral candidate at Carnegie Mellon University, wants to fix that, though you may never notice his work.

Piezoelectric sensors fixed to train cars with electrical tape are at the heart of Lederman's monitoring equipment. They measure changes in pressure, acceleration, temperature, strain and force by converting these changes into an electrical charge. 

Pride In Players Key To CMU Football Coaching Success

Nov 6, 2015
Marcus Charleston / 90.5 WESA

With 193 victories over his 40 years with the Carnegie Mellon Tartans, head football coach Rich Lackner has more than demonstrated his ability to create and maintain winning teams.  His success earned him the title of 5th most winning coach in Division III football. Essential Pittsburgh’s Paul Guggenheimer caught up with the coach to talk about his long-standing career.

“The level of intensity that I display during a football game is incredible, and I love to win,” Lackner said.

Megan Harris / 90.5 WESA

If you want an update on air quality, look no further than your smartphone.

CREATE Lab, a program of Carnegie Mellon University’s Robotics Institute, and Airviz, a CMU lab spinoff, have developed a smartphone app called SpeckSensor that gives users real-time access to Air Quality Index (AQI) numbers based on their location.

Carnegie Mellon University

Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University are printing 3-D hair.

The three-dimensional printers, which translate objects from a digital file into hard, typically plastic objects, have been harnessed to make whistles, shoes, automotive parts and medical devices. But hair is a new, softer, more pliable frontier.

CMU's development team says producing 3-D hair is similar to and inspired by the way stringy strands come out in small bits when a glue gun is used.

Liz Reid / 90.5 WESA

National Security Agency and U.S. Cyber Command Director Admiral Michael Rogers spent the day in Pittsburgh on Monday, making stops at Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh as well as the National Cyber-Forensics & Training Alliance.

At CMU, Rogers fielded questions from students and faculty on topics ranging from the impact of the Edward Snowden leaks to U.S.-China relations to how foreign nationals can contribute to U.S. cybersecurity.

hobvias sudoneighm

Skin lesions are a heath concern that many will face in their lifetimes, with 76,000 Americans being diagnosed every year with skin cancer. New research, blending technology and medicine, hopes to make the detection process easier and more accurate.

In collaboration with Carnegie Mellon University, scientists at Pitt and UPMC have created a computer program that can scan photos of skin lesions and assess whether or not they will require further treatment.

William Brawley / Flickr

A University of Pittsburgh researcher was recently a sleep expert on a study led by UC San Francisco to determine the connection between sleep and health; namely if the amount of sleep a person gets is related to their susceptibility of catching a cold.

Can Pittsburgh Compete In The Biotech Industry?

Sep 3, 2015
Sergei Golyshev / flickr

Once upon a time, Pittsburgh rose and fell as one of the largest manufacturing cities in the nation with the growth and collapse of the steel industry.  Decades later, an influx of healthcare and higher education jobs has helped Pittsburgh make the transition from a manufacturing city to an up and coming technological powerhouse. 

Christian Manders, CEO of Promethean LifeScience, Inc., says this surge in interest in the life science sectors is driving the modern Pittsburgh economy. 

“If you look at statistics with employment in the region, it’s already there.  It’s already happening with ‘eds and meds’, education and medicine.”

On Tuesday, U.S. Deputy Secretary of Commerce Bruce Andrews was in Pittsburgh to lead an initiative that will help start-up and early stage businesses conduct business abroad.

“With 96 percent of the world’s customers and 80 percent of the world’s GDP outside of the borders of the United States, there are tremendous opportunities for U.S. businesses around the world, and we want to help companies early in their life cycle and early in their growth to start thinking globally rather than waiting until they’re further along and more developed,” said Andrews.

Irina Zhorov / 90.5 WESA

Christoph Mertz spends his days looking at cracks in the street.

“Once you’re involved in something like this, you see every crack in the road, every pothole, you say, ‘ohhh, this is interesting,’” he said as he wove around sizeable potholes on the narrow streets behind Carnegie Mellon University, in Pittsburgh.

The U.S. Department of Defense extended its secure software system contract with Carnegie Mellon University researchers for the the next five years, officials announced Tuesday.

“[The contract] endorses the fact that over the last 30-plus years, we have made some major contributions and major impact for the Department of Defense in the area of software engineering and cybersecurity,” said Robert Behler, deputy director and chief operation officer of CMU’s Software Engineering Institute.

For the first time in 21 years a team of top American high school students has won the recent International Math Olympiad held in Thailand. We’ll discuss the significance of this accomplishment with Carnegie Mellon University professor and U.S. head coach Po-Shen Loh.

Eric Risberg / AP Images

Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University are looking to implement a vast network of sensors and devices

on their campus and into the city of Pittsburgh through a Google-sponsored initiative called the “Internet of Things.”  Developers believe the project has the potential to profoundly change the way we approach the world around us as well as improve city infrastructure, communication and decision-making.  But what would it look like if our cars could talk to coffee makers and our calendars to air conditioning units? Lead investigator for the project and director of CMU’s Human-Computer Interaction Institute, Anind K. Dey, shares his hopes for the CMU undertaking.

Courtesy RedZone Robotics

Robots are everywhere nowadays: playing Scrabble, entering disaster zones, even gambling. Now they’re also inspecting city sewers.

The Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority teamed with RedZone Robotics to use robots to examine Pittsburgh’s sewage lines.

Courtesy of Tartan Rescue, Carnegie Mellon University

He can turn a wheel, pick up blocks, maneuver stairs and drive a car. He's also a 5-foot tall, 443-pound robotic monkey.

CHIMP, an acronym for CMU Highly Intelligent Mobile Platform, was developed by the Tartan Rescue Team, a group of engineers, researchers and technicians within CMU’s National Robotics Engineering Center. The team will compete next month for a $2 million first prize in the DARPA Robotics Challenge, or DRC, in Pomona, Calif. against two dozen others.

Your search for an apartment just got a lot more thorough.

A new, free service designed by researchers at Carnegie Mellon University aims to help people find a rental property by estimating the utility costs based on the unit itself and also the renter’s personal habits and lifestyle.

Jennifer Mankoff, associate professor in the Human-Computer Interaction Institute and co-leader on the project, said EDigs was inspired by a former Ph.D. student’s work studying the relationships between landlords and low-income tenants.

Toby Atticus Fraley

The robots are taking over — starting with Pittsburgh International Airport.

If Pittsburgh artist Toby Fraley gets his way, Southwest Airlines passengers arriving at gate 15 in the airport’s A Concourse will be among the first to meet them.

Deanna Garcia / 90.5 WESA

Its name is Claudico, and it’s the first artificial intelligence (AI) program of its kind to take on humans in poker matches: 80,000 hands to be exact.

Four of the world’s top poker players spent two weeks at Rivers Casino. Three of the four pros had higher winnings than Claudico, but their $732,713 collective lead wasn’t large enough to be considered scientifically reliable.

A report released this week by the Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program examined how well alumni of four- and two-year higher education institutions fare after school.

The study looks at predicted outcomes for students and compares actual outcomes. It’s an area not often looked at, according to researchers at Brookings. This report compiled its data looking at three main areas: mid-career salary of alumni, repayment rate on student loans and common careers among alumni.

A recent study by the Rand Corp. found high school students in technology-enhanced learning (TEL) algebra courses were able to learn twice as much as students enrolled in traditional courses.

Carnegie Mellon University has received a two-year, $1 million grant from the Carnegie Corp. of New York to support the school’s Simon Initiative, which looks to study and improve learning outcomes through technology in everything from computer science to ancient history classes.

For some, opera means women in Viking helmets singing century-old arias, but that’s not the case with CO-OPERA.

A year-long collaborative effort among Carnegie Mellon University’s schools of Art, Computer Science, Drama and Music, as well as the Pittsburgh Opera, CO-OPERA brings students, faculty and alumni together to produce and perform five original modern operas.

Walt Urbina / Courtesy Photo

With women earning less than 20 percent of all bachelor’s degrees awarded in physics, engineering and computer science, some might consider Becca Volk an anomaly, but among her teammates on Pittsburgh’s all-female Girls of Steel competitive robotics team, Volk fits right in. The 16 yr. old junior at Avonworth High School knows she wants to be an engineer someday.

On March 28, Girls of Steel won the Chairman’s Award at the Buckeye Regional FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) in Cleveland, which qualifies the team to compete in the FRC Championship April 22-25 in St. Louis.

Does Your Cellphone Know Too Much?

Apr 6, 2015
Flickr user, Techstage

If someone wanted to know where you were 442 times a day, would you be uncomfortable?

Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University recently conducted a study on cellphone privacy settings by giving cellphone users information on how frequently their apps accessed and shared private information, such as location.


Beatrice Dias has asthma, and her three-year-old has had his own respiratory issues, so she installed a personal air monitoring device known as a Speck to see if the air in her home was contributing to their health problems.

“It was as simple as turning on the hood vent above the stove and realizing, ‘wait, the air quality is getting worse, what am I doing wrong? This was supposed to be good for it,’” she said. “But then I followed the trajectory of the air and realized the hood vent was just venting the air up as opposed out of the house.”

Revelations like this is why the Community Robotics Education and Technology Empowerment (CREATE) Lab began selling Speck Monday.  The air quality monitor detects fine particulates in a room by using a fan to create a vacuum that sucks the matter into the sensor.

No one has ever seen dark matter, and its origin is unknown, but researchers at Carnegie Mellon, Brown and Cambridge universities believe they may have evidence of another characteristic of dark matter.

The researchers found that a newly discovered dwarf galaxy orbiting our galaxy, the Milky Way, shows evidence that it’s emitting gamma rays.

Liz Reid / 90.5 WESA

University of Pittsburgh chancellor Patrick Gallagher calls the volume of healthcare data in the United States “staggering.”

“(It is) fast approaching a zettabyte,” Gallagher said, referencing the equivalent of one trillion gigabytes. “Even the terminology doesn’t make sense to many of us.”

Gallagher made the comments Monday at a joint news conference with Carnegie Mellon University and UPMC. The three institutions have announced a multi-million dollar collaborative initiative to harness vast amounts of health care data to “revolutionize healthcare and wellness.”