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Pittsburgh Headlines

Innovation Works released their annual review of Pittsburgh’s technology investment landscape. 2019 represented a record year, with 139 unique Pittsburgh area startups attracting close to $3.0 billion in funding. Notably, autonomous vehicles and robotics drew 87% of the investment dollars in 2019.

Scientists at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine believe that they’ve found a potential vaccine for the novel coronavirus.

A feel-good story about Pittsburgh native, Michael Keaton providing financial support for 412 Food Rescue to provide a bus stop meal distribution service.

Plus this comprehensive list from NextPittsburgh outlining the various ways you can help during the pandemic in Pittsburgh.

PRN Member News

RE2 is using its 3D-printing capabilities to fabricate parts for face shields that are being collected and distributed by PPE Connect PGH. The face shields, along with all of the PPE donations, are available at no cost to smaller health care entities such as community clinics, nursing homes, and independent facilities in the Pittsburgh region. Learn more about PPE Connect PGH here.

Seegrid raises $25 million for autonomous industrial vehicles. Founded in 2003, Seegrid had previously raised around $60 million, and with another $25 million in the bank it plans to double down on its growth and hiring plans and bring forward new products that were originally planned for the next couple of years.

PRN Board Member, Dr. Howie Choset from Carnegie Mellon University, penned an editorial with Science Robotics outlining the need for more investment in robotics research in preparation for future pandemics.

Ansys, a Canonsburg-based engineering simulation and embedded software company, is partnering with Airbus Defense and Space, the military arm of the European aviation giant, to develop the software necessary to turn autonomous UAVs into a reality by 2030.

The ARM Institute has announced the appointment of Ira Moskowitz as incoming CEO. Mr. Moskowitz served as Director of Advanced Manufacturing Programs for the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative. Since 2017, he has led Massachusetts’ efforts for manufacturing innovation, overseeing the Massachusetts Manufacturing Innovation Initiative (M2I2), a $100 million economic development program affiliated with Manufacturing USA. ARM also hosted a the second Joint Summit: Robotics in Sustainment event with the JROBOT Group – Joint Robotics Organization for Building Organic Technologies.

Aethon TUG, a programmable payload carry robot which has primarily been designed with on-hospital delivery in mind, was highlighted by Computer Business Review as a top robotic and warehouse automation systems causing disruption.

BirdBrian Technologies released some free robotics focused activities for students to explore at home.

The Pittsburgh Robotics Network, in partnership with Cohen & Company hosted a webinar outlining how to take advantage of the new resources available through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which includes paycheck protection program loans, small business counseling, small business contracting, small business tax provisions, and others. This webinar was open to PRN Members-only. Missed the webinar? Email info@robopgh.org to access a copy of the recording and presentation. Thank you again to Cohen & Company for sharing their expertise about this important financial assistance package for small and mid-size businesses with our members!

Select Robotics Industry Headlines

The Robotics Business Review examined February 2020 robotics industry investments. In addition to the usual autonomous vehicle and healthcare robotics companies, field robotics raised funding in February 2020. The reported values were worth a total of $1.19 billion. More here.

China rushed to deploy robotics to help with the COVID-19 pandemic. A survey by the American Chamber of Commerce Shanghai found nearly half of the 109 companies polled in that city and metro area said lack of staff is their biggest challenge over the next few weeks, while two-thirds noted they don’t have sufficient staff to run a full production line. Full story here.

The Association for Advancing Automation (A3) released a special report outlining how robots and automation are helping during the COVID-19 pandemic, from disinfecting processes to healthcare assistance. Full report here. A3 also hosted a webinar with various CEOs and Presidents of large robotics companies about the effects of COVID-19. Access the recorded webinar here.

Wired explored the effects of automation on employment, asking “if robots steal so many jobs, why aren’t they saving us now”. More here.

About the Pittsburgh Robotics Network (PRN)

The Pittsburgh Robotics Network (PRN) is dedicated to empowering and strengthening robotics companies in the Pittsburgh region and positioning the ecosystem as an internationally recognized powerhouse. Structured as a membership-based consortium, PRN Members have access to member only events centered on knowledge-sharing and collaboration.