Carnegie Mellon University’s Robotics Innovation Center (RIC) brings together researchers from CMU’s College of Engineering and School of Computer Science to demonstrate the influence intersecting fields of study has on innovation.
Located on the site of a former Jones & Laughlin Steel Company mill at the newly formed Hazelwood Green, the RIC is just downhill from CMU’s Oakland campus. Through 150,000 square feet of research space and dedicated areas for robotics testing, the RIC brings together fundamental and applied robotics research in a dynamic and adaptive environment. The facility also provides the setting for the community to engage with roboticists and to learn about the industry. Carnegie Mellon envisions the RIC as a world-class destination for robotics and autonomous systems research and education that will attract talent, inspire future generations, build and strengthen community partnerships, and showcase innovation.
The RIC consists of flexible project space and workspace, wet labs, workshops, high-bay research space, motion capture lab, research water tank, drone cage, and associated support and amenity areas. In addition, a 1.5-acre outdoor ‘running room’ is positioned directly next to the building for indoor/outdoor connections. The building and outdoor space is intended to be flexible to support the ongoing evolution of robotics research.
The building’s exterior is designed in keeping with the area’s industrial roots. A metal and glass façade, with some masonry elements, complement other structures at Hazelwood Green while strategic pops of CMU’s signature red denote place and provide identity. The simple massing of the three-story building prioritizes volume – large, high bay spaces for robotics testing and transparent, light-filled corridors and offices. The building’s common spaces will be publicly accessible during certain hours, including the lobby, gallery, event space (with advance arrangements) and a future food-service area.
The center is scheduled to open in May, 2025.