||Available NREC Licenses
NREC advances the commercialization of robotics via technology licensing through Carnegie Mellon’s Center for Technology Transfer (CTT). Each year CTT licenses technologies to companies ranging in size from local startups to multinational corporations from all over the world. Companies use these technologies to create products and services that give them a sustaining competitive advantage. A typical license gives a company the right to use, make, have made and sell or lease products or services that incorporate the Carnegie Mellon technology. The company can also create derivatives and protect these with their own patents, copyrights and trademarks. Exclusive and non-exclusive licenses can be tailored to countries and fields of use as desired.
In many research projects, the company sponsor negotiates an exclusive license for NREC developed technology in a specified field of use. This is an effective way to transition NREC project deliverables to products that provide a competitive edge to our sponsors
There are other cases where NREC technology can be licensed to any third party because the technology was developed with internal or government funds, was licensed non-exclusively, or has utility in a different field of use than that negotiated with an exclusive licensee.
For information on how you can license NREC's technologies for use in your products and services, please contact
During vehicular operation, the system continuously and
actively calculates stability margin measurements to trigger
an alarm, drive a "governor” device or alter
the suspension. It calculates lateral acceleration as
either curvature or speed increase. When state-of-motion
activity risks rollover, the system recognizes the situation
and triggers the desired action.
NREC’s Vehicle Stability Prediction System can be
used in a wide variety of indoor and outdoor material
handling and excavation vehicles, whether they are man-driven
or robotic. The system also could be used as the basis
for a stability governor that discourages maneuver-induced
rollover of automobiles and other man-driven vehicles.
US Patent Pending 10/120,333
NREC’s robotic field-container handling systems
improve efficiency in the traditionally labor-intensive
process of moving containerized plants. NREC developed
a self-mobile system that has a grabber subsystem
for grasping objects, including assemblies for movement
along X, Y and Z axes and for rotation. An imaging
system determines the geometric position of the
objects and moves the grabber subsystem accordingly.
Another embodiment of the system is provided as
an accessory to a prime mover. It includes an alignment
articulation system, a gross advance system, a tine
storage system, a loading head system, and pot grabbers.
This automated handling system can be used to move
plant containers in nurseries from the ground to
a trailer bed and/or from a trailer bed to the ground
in a variety of container configurations.
High Precision Object
Localization System for AGVs
US Patent 6,952,488
NREC developed a camera-based vision system for autonomous
fork trucks that locates pallet holes for pallet pick-up.
A visual servoing system uses this information to autonomously
drive the fork truck to pick up the pallet.
The same system can measure the relative position of
a rack on the forks compared to one on the shop floor.
In this case, the visual servoing system drives the
fork truck to stack the new rack on top of the old.
The above fork hole localizer can then reverse the process.
The approach easily generalizes to objects other than
pallets and racks. Versions based on imaging laser rangefinders
can also be adapted from the camera-based solution.
NREC designed and implemented a medical image registration
system to recover the 6D pose of patient anatomy
based on 2D radiographs acquired at the time of
treatment and 3D CT data used during treatment planning.
The system utilizes an image-comparison algorithm,
Variance-Weighted Sum of Local Normalized Correlation,
which greatly decreases the impact of clutter and
unrelated objects in the input radiographs. This
image comparison approach is combined with hardware-accelerated
rendering of simulated X-ray images to permit registration
of noisy, cluttered images with sub-millimeter accuracy.
The algorithm is applicable to both radiotherapeutic
and orthopedic procedures.
for Automated Mining Machinery
US Patents 6,203,111 and 6,296,317
Automated machines operating in underground mines require
accurate position estimation to operate safely and productively.
GPS unavailability and the high cost of installing and
maintaining infrastructure-based positioning systems
prevent a practical solution. NREC developed two positioning
technologies that capitalize on the mine’s natural
structure coupled with equipment widely used in mines:
||A heading control system to measure heading and
lateral offset of a mining machine. It uses a mining
surveyor laser and on board camera, gyro and algorithms
to calculate machine heading.
||A sump depth control system to measure or control
the forward motion of the mining machine over short
distances. Several stereo camera pairs aimed at
the roof and ribs of the mine sense surface texture.
The system processes this information to report
The robot includes all the necessary hardware, sensing
and software for autonomous operation indoors or outdoors.
Its well documented application program interface (API)
and modular design allows for partial or total swap
of the autonomy software modules with the owner’s
software. A developer-friendly design features long
battery life, standard development environment, extensive
data logging capabilities, and system simulator.
The robot includes three 2.0 GHz Pentium-M computers,
stereo cameras, IR rangefinders, GPS, IMU, encoders,
wireless communications link, and operator control unit.
NREC ported its PerceptOR software to the platform to
provide baseline autonomous capability.
The robot includes a comprehensive user manual that
documents robot capability, baseline autonomy software,
and APIs (with examples).
Enhanced Teleoperation (Mini SACR)
NREC’s miniaturized SACR (Situational Awareness Through Colorized Ranging) system fuses video and range data from a small panoramic camera ring and scanning LADAR sensor to provide photo-realistic 3D video and panoramic video images of an EOD robot’s surroundings. Mini SACR automatically compensates for the small size, vibration, and low viewpoint of typical EOD robots. Operators can pan, zoom, and shift the 3D image to different viewpoints, including an overhead view.