RECAP: First 2020 PRN Member Meeting

Mar 1, 2020 | Events

In February, we hosted our first member event of 2020 in conjunction with member and sponsor, HEBI Robotics! This quarter’s event centered on commercial real estate in the city, including the basics of what to watch out for in a lease, where the newest properties are in the ‘Burgh, how we compare with the coasts, and more.

Some key facts we learned:

Cost of Living

  • The Pittsburgh composite cost of living index is 99.1, Boston sits at 150.0, and Silicon Valley tops at 214.5. In Silicon Valley, you’ll spend a large chunk of money paying for your housing, leaving limited wiggle room for entertainment.

Median Home Price

  • The median cost of a home in Pittsburgh is $150,000. The median price in Boston is $450,000. Silicon Valley is the highest at a median cost of $1,029,000


  • You’ll get to and from work faster, leading to a better work-life balance in Pittsburgh with only an average of 46 hours of traffic delay a year. Boston sits at 81 and Silicon Valley comes in at 80 hours.

Crime Rate

  • Pittsburgh also leads in safety with a crime rate of 274.6. Boston comes in at 284.4 and Silicon Valley comes in the highest at a crime rate of 314.2

Specific to Robotics in Pittsburgh

  • Pittsburgh boasts 1,655 tech and robotics firms
  • $1.36B in university R&D (since 2007) – a great sign for a built-in talent pipeline!
  • $957M venture capital invested in tech firms (2013-2018). This is a space where the city could use greater improvement to compete
  • 2,886 total jobs in the tech and robotics industry, making in a leading sector for new job creation

The full Colliers presentation, with statistics comparing Pittsburgh with Boston and Silicon Valley, from the event is available below. Click to navigate the slides:


This event is part of our members-only series. PRN Members have access to exclusive educational events and can recommend future event topics. Membership is open to any robotics organization with a presence in Pittsburgh. Click here to learn more about membership.


HEBI Robotics was founded in 2014 by a cross-disciplinary team from the world-renowned Robotics Institute at Carnegie Mellon University. The company is a spin-out of CMU’s Biorobotics Lab, led by Professor Howie Choset. In 2016, HEBI released its X-Series platform of modular hardware and software tools, now used by dozens of global universities, researchers, and industrial partners to create custom, world-class robots quickly and easily. HEBI’s team of PhD researchers, engineers, and technicians has experience developing robotics tools for the military, sewer inspection, space flight, and the aerospace industry. Their expertise includes robotics, hardware, and software, with a core focus on motion control. Learn more here.