Carnegie Mellon University and the Richard King Mellon Foundation today announced a $150 million investment that will help build the Robotics Innovation Center in addition to funding advancements in the future of manufacturing and science.
The $150 million grant to CMU is the largest single grant in the foundation's 74-year history. Half of the grant is the lead gift for a new cutting-edge science building on CMU's Oakland campus. The other half will seed the new Robotics Innovation Center (RIC) and Manufacturing Futures Institute at Hazelwood Green.
"The technologies developed at the Robotics Innovation Center will ripple across every part of our society and economy, impacting fields including health care, transportation, national security, education, agriculture and retail," said Martial Hebert, dean of the School of Computer Science.
The Robotics Innovation Center will provide CMU robotics researchers with roughly 150,000 square feet for research, integration, iteration and commercialization. Reconfigurable high bays, multiple testing facilities, a unique large-footprint testing area and flexible spaces that address robotics systems at different scales are planned. The facility is expected to include pre-incubator space for the next generation of CMU-affiliated robotics companies. The foundation will provide a $45 million lead grant for the RIC, which is estimated to cost more than $100 million.
This is the latest chapter in the decades-long relationship between CMU and the Richard King Mellon Foundation. In 1964, Richard King Mellon and Constance Prosser Mellon provided initial funding for CMU's nascent Computer Science Department, which grew into the world-leading School of Computer Science.