Carnegie Mellon, Caterpillar Sign Research Agreement
By Robotics Trends Staff - Filed Sep 05, 2007
Carnegie Mellon University and Caterpillar Inc., the world’s leading manufacturer of construction, mining and other heavy equipment, have signed a three-year master agreement for sponsored research.

Initial projects involve work at the National Robotics Engineering Center (NREC) in Pittsburgh’s Lawrenceville neighborhood. That research will include applications using advanced outdoor sensors, operator-assist systems and increased autonomous capabilities for enhancing the safety and productivity of the Caterpillar product line.

Caterpillar, based in Peoria, Ill., also plans to establish a Center of Excellence for Field Robotics and Automation in Pittsburgh. The research and development office will work in close collaboration with Carnegie Mellon researchers and pursue independent research projects.

NREC Director John Bares said he anticipates the Caterpillar work will allow for the hiring of additional staff members. More importantly, the collaboration with Caterpillar should strengthen the knowledge base of both organizations.

“This working relationship exposes Carnegie Mellon researchers to the rigors of applied science and engineering, and to leading-edge automation challenges,” Bares explained. “We’re confident that it also will provide Caterpillar with access to some of the best minds in the business.”

In the past, Caterpillar has sponsored major projects at Carnegie Mellon in both robotics and machine translation. Since 2003, it has been a steadfast sponsor of the university’s entries in the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s (DARPA) Grand Challenge robot competitions. That commitment continues this year, with Caterpillar one of the main sponsors of Tartan Racing’s Boss, the self-driving Chevy Tahoe that is a semifinalist for this fall’s $2 million DARPA Urban Challenge.

The three-year master research agreement took effect June 1.


About Carnegie Mellon
Carnegie Mellon is a private research university with a distinctive mix of programs in engineering, computer science, robotics, business, public policy, fine arts and the humanities. More than 10,000 undergraduate and graduate students receive an education characterized by its focus on creating and implementing solutions for real problems, interdisciplinary collaboration, and innovation. A small student-to-faculty ratio provides an opportunity for close interaction between students and professors. While technology is pervasive on its 144-acre Pittsburgh campus, Carnegie Mellon is also distinctive among leading research universities for the world-renowned programs in its College of Fine Arts. A global university, Carnegie Mellon has campuses in Silicon Valley, Calif., and Qatar, and programs in Asia, Australia and Europe. For more, see

Byron Spice
Carnegie Mellon University
P: 412-268-9068

Anne Watzman
Carnegie Mellon University
P: 412-268-3830

Deborah A. Lewellyn
Caterpillar Inc.
P: 309-578-3134

<< Return to story