Thursday, March 23, 2006

Domo arigato, Mr. Roboto

I for one, welcome our new robot overlords:

Carnegie Mellon University wants to build a research center called Robot City at LTV's former Hazelwood Works to develop the next generation of robots.

CMU would use the space to build and test prototypes of robots that would plant grass, mow the lawn, harvest crops, provide cleanup, oversee security and do other tasks. University officials hope the move will bring Pittsburgh closer to living up to the monicker given it by The Wall Street Journal: "Roboburgh."
As always, a couple thoughts:

(1) OK, this sounds like a plan for the former LTV site that will take up a lot of space, which could be used for businesses, parks, housing, etc. Is that a socially, economically, or politically responsible position?

(2) From a planning perspective, the use space on these old brownfield spaces has been a source of criticism (cf. the Waterfront & the Pittsburgh Technology Center).

(3) Speaking of planning, you can see the plan for Hazelwood here.

(4) I wonder how this plan works with the second dumbest idea in Western Pennsylvania regional planning: the Mon-Fayette Expressway. The dumbest idea is, in fact, slots.

(5) Well, on the other hand, this is a positive move towards a cluster of industries in which Pittsburgh has, apparently, a competitive advantage.

(6) Although, it would be nice to have some sort of connection to Oakland through Junction Hollow.

(7) What has ALMONO done for us recently? Seriously.

(8) Roboburgh is a dumb nickname.

(9) Will this assist in finding Sarah Connor?

I'll be back.

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