Robotics

Behavioral Health
5:13 am
Tue April 22, 2014

How This Little Robot Could Make A Big Difference For Kids On The Autism Spectrum

Tess Lojacono holds Romibo, a social therapy robot designed to aid therapists and teachers working with children with special needs.
Credit Ryan Loew / 90.5 WESA

Ethan Welker is a 15-year-old freshman at the University School, a private college prep school in Shadyside. His mom Michele Welker says he’s a smart and curious boy.

“Around the age of 7, he was diagnosed on the autism spectrum with Asperger’s,” Michele said. “(Asperger’s is) one of the higher functioning levels of the spectrum.”

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Science & Technology
3:30 am
Mon March 31, 2014

This CMU-Built, Trash-Talking Robot Wants To Beat You At Scrabble

Victor, created by a research professor at Carnegie Mellon University, is the latest in a series of social robots designed to study human-robot interaction.
Credit Courtesy Carnegie Mellon University

Victor sits in the lounge of Carnegie Mellon University’s computer science building ready to take on anyone in a game of Scrabble.

He’s cocky, and his taunts can be heard across the room.

“Is that all you’ve got?” he shouts from behind his virtual Scrabble board.

Victor has an attitude not atypical of a 17-year-old college freshman. But here's the thing: He’s a robot.

Created by Reid Simmons, a research professor at CMU’s Robotics Institute, Victor is the latest in a series of social robots designed as a tool to study human-robot interaction.

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Essential Pittsburgh
4:31 pm
Tue February 4, 2014

POLITICO Kicks Off Editorial Series Starting With Pittsburgh

Credit MARK PETERSON/REDUX / POLITICO.com

POLITICO kicked off a yearlong, editorial series Tuesday, showcasing innovative ideas from cities across the nation and how they can be re-engineered for Washington.

POLITICO Editor Susan Glasser explained why Pittsburgh is the first city featured.

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Essential Pittsburgh
7:00 am
Thu December 26, 2013

Health & Innovation Highlights in 2013

Jan Scheuermann, who has quadriplegia, brings a chocolate bar to her mouth using a robot arm she is guiding with her thoughts.
Credit UPMC

From robotic arms to treating high blood pressure, in 2013 we delved into many stories dealing with health innovation.

We'll revisit our conversation with Dr. Michael Boninger and a quadriplegic woman named Jan Scheuermann. A robotic arm surgically attached to her brain allows her to perform basic tasks with focused thought.

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Robotics Expansion
2:18 pm
Wed August 28, 2013

Lawrenceville Robotics Company Expands

Carnegie Robotics, a spin-off of Carnegie Mellon’s National Robotics Center, is expanding its headquarters and manufacturing facilities in Lawrenceville.

Currently housed in CMU incubator facilities, the company plans to move into the 31,000 square-foot former Heppenstall building between 43rd and 48th streets.

President and CEO John Bares said the company outgrew its current space.

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Robotics
3:30 am
Mon July 15, 2013

CMU Researchers Create Snake-Like Robots to Patrol Nuke Plants

What’s two inches in diameter, four-foot-long and can find a leak in the most remote area of a failing nuclear power plant? Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University say it's one of their snake-like robots. 

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Veterans Affairs
2:19 pm
Mon May 13, 2013

VA Research Week Highlights Local Robotic Technology

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs is celebrating “VA Research Week,” highlighting the VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System’s Human Engineering Research Laboratories at Bakery Square, where robotic technology is being used to improve the mobility and function of people with disabilities.  

The KitchenBot can be programmed to make an entire meal; the Cueing Kitchen is a cabinet layout with appliances that gives audio prompts to those with cognitive disabilities so they can function in the kitchen.

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Essential Pittsburgh
8:44 pm
Thu May 2, 2013

Pondering a Life with Robots

Robot Parts at Fraley's Robot Repair Shop/Art Instillation
Heather McClain 90.5 WESA

Through recent artistic conceptions, we explore a world of advanced robotics and consider the philosophical questions one might ponder if robots were a part of everyday life. Essential Pittsburgh Production Assistant Rebekah Zook  and WESA reporter Margaret Krauss visited Fraley's Robot Repair Shop in its final week Downtown and we spoke with Japanese contemporary theater Director Oriza Hirata at the Andy Warhol Museum.

Robotics
4:33 pm
Thu March 14, 2013

Frisbee-Throwing, Climbing Robots Take Over Pitt’s Peterson Events Center

Students carry a robot as they prepare for a practice run Thursday as part of the FIRST Robotics Pittsburgh Regional Competition.
Ryan Loew 90.5 WESA

Frisbee-throwing robots are the main event in a competition at Pitt’s Peterson Events Center Friday and Saturday.

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