“Smokin Robot in 1939” – Pittsburgh has always been a leader in the robotics revolution

“It’s 1939 and Westinghouse wants to show off for the World’s Fair in New York City,” says Andy Masich, president and CEO of the Heinz History Center, where a replica of Elektro resides. “So they build this robot called Elektro. He can walk, talk and recognize colors. He can smoke cigarettes like it’s going out of style. He’s the hit of the World’s Fair…”
Today, the Robotics Institute at CMU is regularly in the headlines for its work with transportation company Uber. The two have joined forces to develop self-driving car technology, and CMU reportedly has already created a prototype. Pittsburgh is set to be a testing ground for this technology.
“This technology represents the natural progression of automation and will have a major positive impact on society, since transportation is a hub of modern economies,” said Raj Rajkumar, co-director of the General Motors-Carnegie Mellon Autonomous Driving Collaborative Research Lab, in a 2014 statement.