Carnegie Robotics, LLC (CRL) is a leading provider of advanced robotics sensors and platforms for defense, agriculture, mining, infrastructure and energy applications. CRL was founded by Dr. John Bares and several colleagues in May 2010 as a spinout of Carnegie Mellon University’s National Robotics Engineering Center (NREC), one of the world’s premier research and development organizations for advanced field robotics, machine vision and autonomy. Dr. Bares recognized that field robotics markets would not reach their potential until companies emerged who could effectively engineer, manufacture, supply and support the critical sensors, software and components that form robotic systems.
To meet the market need, CRL developed core competencies in engineering, manufacturing and testing of highly reliable and environmentally robust products. CRL applied these processes to develop a MIL-qualified positioning component for active service US Army vehicles. The vehicle OEM fielded more than 500 of these units and they have exceeded all performance and reliability metrics. In 2014, the US Army awarded CRL a $23M contract to develop the Autonomous Mine Detection System (AMDS), a platform to detect, mark and neutralize explosive hazards at standoff in complex and urban terrains. In 2015, CRL won a large contract to develop an autonomy kit for Nilfisk’s line of commercial floor cleaners. The first automated scrubber, the Liberty A50, launches in 2017. To improve company-wide processes necessary to support production contracts with the DoD and commercial OEMs, CRL pursued and achieved ISO 9001:2008 certification in June, 2016.
CRL’s exposure to field robotics applications in military and commercial markets identified the need for affordable and reliable 3D perception products. So CRL invested significant company resources to develop the MultiSense product line, featuring narrow and wide baseline 3D stereo, video capture and combined stereo/ladar sensing. CRL, in partnership with Swift Navigation will introduce a line of low cost, high precision RTK GPS / inertial products in 2017.
After incubating at NREC, CRL signed a long term lease for the former Heppenstall building in the Lawrenceville neighborhood of Pittsburgh. The company funded a complete renovation of the 29,000 sq. ft. mixed-use building and began operations there in December, 2014. The company has grown rapidly since and will complete a new, 9,000 sq. ft. production facility in July, 2017 to support that growth.
Steve DiAntonio, President and CEO of Carnegie Robotics
Steve DiAntonio assumed the CEO position at CRL in February, 2015 following the departure of John Bares to start the Uber Advanced Technology Center. DiAntonio was one of the original founders of CRL and consulted during the company’s startup phase. Prior to joining CRL, DiAntonio was the Business Development Director of the National Robotics Engineering Center at Carnegie Mellon University. During his 16 year tenure, NREC’s project revenue grew from $4M to $30M. He was instrumental in creating long term development partnerships with large commercial firms in agriculture, mining and energy markets. DiAntonio has over 30 years’ experience in senior sales, product management and strategy positions for technology development organizations, software companies and manufacturing firms. He has an engineering degree from Lehigh University and MBA from Harvard University.
Brian Beyer, Executive Vice President
Brian Beyer joined CRL in 2011 as a Senior Engineer and assumed program management responsibilities soon after arriving. He led the effort to win the $23M, AMDS contract in 2014 and served as the AMDS Program Manager through the first two years of the program. Beyer captured and led the precursor contract to AMDS while also directing much of the requirements definition, system design and fielding support for the Rowbot development and Strawberry Sorter project. Beyer was promoted to Executive Vice President in February, 2015. In this role, he manages CRL’s engineering and field technician staff and oversees much of the company’s day-to-day operations. Prior to joining CRL, Beyer worked for Applied Research Associates and Carnegie Mellon University’s National Robotics Engineering Center. Beyer is an infantryman with 13 years of service in both the US Marine Corps and Army National Guard. His active duty Marine Corps service included participation in Operation Iraqi Freedom I as a sergeant in 1st Battalion, 2nd Marines. His undergraduate degree is from the University of South Carolina.
Chris Osterwood, Chief Technical Officer
Chris Osterwood joined Carnegie Robotics in 2011 with years of experience as a robotics engineer. He has lead the development of many of Carnegie Robotics' robotic component products and custom robotic systems including MultiSense, smart monocular and ring cameras, purpose-built manipulators, off-road unmanned ground vehicles, and indoor autonomous robots. His ability to conceptualize and bring to fruition new ideas in robotics components and systems has helped make Carnegie Robotics a stand out in the robotics community. He guides many of Carnegie Robotics’ industry partnerships and leads developments of customized versions of the MultiSense and downstream software for particularly demanding and high volume markets including infrastructure mapping and assessment, resource mining, and agricultural applications.
Prior to joining CRL, Chris was a Senior Engineer and Product Manager at RedZone Robotics Inc. where he led the engineering and product development for several highly successful sewer inspection robots including Solo, the first commercially available autonomous sewer robot. One US patent has been issued covering his work at RedZone and several covering new technology developed at Carnegie Robotics are pending. Chris has a Mechanical Engineering Degree with Research Honors from Carnegie Mellon University.
David LaRose, Chief Science Officer
David LaRose has over 25 years of experience in robotics and computer vision. In addition to his current work at CRL, he has successfully commercialized technologies in the biomedical, environmental, military, energy, and agricultural markets. His inventions have been used in hundreds of operating rooms worldwide during fluoroscopic and orthopedic procedures, in biotech labs for computer-vision-based drug discovery, in active coal mines to predict conveyor belt failures, and in self-driving cars as part of the world’s first commercially deployed autonomous transportation services fleet. Prior to co-founding Carnegie Robotics, Dr. LaRose worked at Carnegie Mellon University, where his research led to the successful commercialization of systems ranging from an automated seedling inspection system for use in commercial farming to an award-winning robotic hydroblasting robotic system that safely removes toxic paint from the hulls of large ships using high-pressure water.
Dr. LaRose holds a Ph.D. in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University, and a Bachelor’s degree from Brown University. He holds nine US patents for inventions currently in use in the medical devices, biotech, and automotive industries, and has a strong track record of delivering working systems based on cutting-edge technology.
Ken Carmichael, Vice President of Manufacturing
Ken Carmichael took on the role of developing manufacturing at Carnegie Robotics in June 2015. Under his leadership, CRL has seen dramatic improvements in production capabilities including supply chain management, inventory control, production planning, and Lean Manufacturing. A problem solver and team builder, Ken comes with a strong background in Lean Manufacturing, having established himself in the automotive industry as a champion of Lean Thinking. Ken was part of a team that transformed a century old manufacturer into a best in class supplier of precision machine products to Toyota, Ford, and General Motors. Sought after for his 25 years of engineering, manufacturing and leadership success, Ken operates by the core principle that “the right process produces the right results”, and he is deeply committed to continuous improvement, both professionally and personally. Ken has an engineering degree from State University College at Buffalo.