Employment by Pittsburgh-area robotics firms has jumped from 700 to 2,200 people in the five years since President Barack Obama announced the National Robotics Initiative (NRI) at the National Robotics Engineering Center, U.S. Rep. Mike Doyle said.
Doyle spoke at RoboPGH Day, an Oct. 12 event hosted by NREC spinoff Carnegie Robotics in Lawrenceville and organized by the Pittsburgh Robotics Network, a trade group with which 40 robotics firms and research institutions are associated.
"In the last 35 years, Carnegie Mellon has become the world leader in robotics technology," Doyle said. But robotics in Pittsburgh is about much more than Carnegie Mellon, he added, noting robotics research is now underway at the University of Pittsburgh. Moreover, dozens of robotics firms now flourish in southwestern Pennsylvania.
Carnegie Mellon has received more than $15 million in NRI funding to date, according to Sanjiv Singh, professor of robotics and CEO of Near Earth Autonomy.
"Pittsburgh was one of the first places where robotics took root," Singh said at the event. "But in 2016, it's not a story about exotic robots. It's a story of a bright new industry."
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