October 19, 2009

Pittsburgh puts best foot—er, wheel—forward

Pittsburgh shows its high-tech face to G-20 guests with display that includes "smart" warehouse robots.

By Toby Gooley

Many people were surprised when Pittsburgh was chosen to host September's meeting of the "Group of Twenty" (G-20) finance ministers and central bank governors from around the world. Some still think of the once-gritty city as a smaller version of Detroit—dependent on a single, declining industry. But as local government and economic development agencies aimed to prove while the G-20 was in town, the Steel City is fast becoming a center of industrial innovation.

Among the technologies on display for visiting dignitaries and media were robots manufactured by Seegrid Corp. The five-year-old company, a spin-off from Carnegie-Mellon University's Robotics Institute, makes vision-guided robots that automate the movement of goods in warehouses and distribution centers. The AGV-like machines "learn" their jobs by moving along work paths under human guidance and then repeating those journeys as directed.

About the Author

Toby Gooley
Contributing Editor
Contributing Editor Toby Gooley is a freelance writer and editor specializing in supply chain, logistics, material handling, and international trade. She previously was Senior Editor at DC VELOCITY and Editor of DCV's sister publication, CSCMP's Supply Chain Quarterly. Prior to joining AGiLE Business Media in 2007, she spent 20 years at Logistics Management magazine as Managing Editor and Senior Editor covering international trade and transportation. Prior to that she was an export traffic manager for 10 years. She holds a B.A. in Asian Studies from Cornell University.

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