Inside Carnegie Mellon University’s ‘Maker Space’

The Maker Space is a platform to foster and develop AI tech to tackle world’s toughest problems.
CMU Maker Space


On November 10, JPMorgan Chase & Co. officially opened the AI Maker Space in partnership with Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) at the university’s campus. The space will be supported by JP Morgan, also the founder of the AI Research programme at the university, to accelerate ways to use technology to predict and affect economic trends, protect data, stop financial crime and improve customer interaction with businesses. 

According to leaders at CMU and JPMorgan, the Maker Space will be providing a platform for students to collaborate with the aim of fostering and developing artificial intelligence (AI) technology to tackle the world’s toughest problems, “that will change the world.” 


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Facilitator of Tech Advancements

The 2000 square foot facility will provide students with the opportunity to work with robots, drones, smart appliances, augmented reality (AR) devices, virtual reality (VR) devices and high-end computers. 

  • Students can use smart appliances and devices, along with AR and VR, to explore the future of work. 
  • Additionally, the AI Maker Space boasts of a 12-foot by 12-foot drone cage equipped with motion capture cameras, along with a kitchen with smart appliances. Students of colleges– School of Computer Science, College of Engineering and School of Drama– can access the drone cage for either 3D art production or stage a flight.
  • To add to that, students will be provided access to software packages associated with the hardware. This will enable them to develop newer AI technologies. According to CMU, these hardware and software packages are beyond what typical students get access to. 
  • Additionally, students will get access to massive datasets that they can use for their projects. They will be able to use synthetic financial datasets provided by JPMorgan to better train AI and machine learning (ML) algorithms. 
  • The Fetch robot– worth $100,000– can be used to operate in systems for loading, unloading, and, like the name suggests– to fetch things from a refrigerator or to assemble furniture. 
  • Baxter, on the other hand, is a two-armed Rethink Robotics’ product. Built with an animated face, the robot can be used for simple and ‘dull’ industrial tasks such as loading, unloading, handling of materials and sorting. 

Summing up 

The Maker Space will be open for students’ access from Spring 2022, and students can enrol for a training course to learn using the technology. Additionally, the space is expected to host projects to help students familiarise themselves with the devices and tools.

In India as well, institutions have been heavily investing in building tech labs. For instance, the Indian Institute of Technology-Kharagpur has set up a technological hub, called the Innovation Hub, to allow students and researchers to work on AI and ML advancements after receiving a Rs 170 crore grant from the Department of Science and Technology, Government Of India. The mission of building the Innovation Hub is to promote research and promote the startup ecosystem to scale them. Among the 32 technologies that are to be developed in the Innovation Hub, some include 3D printing technology, wastewater engineering, next-gen wireless communication, farm machines and structural heal and road traffic models.  

While universities across the world, and in India, have been increasingly investing in labs and spaces to boast and further accelerate the use of technology to build powerful tech, the Maker Space definitely seems to go a level higher to help students build tech addressing and solving global problems. 

To know more about the AI labs facilitating tech advancements in India, click here

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Debolina Biswas
After diving deep into the Indian startup ecosystem, Debolina is now a Technology Journalist. When not writing, she is found reading or playing with paint brushes and palette knives. She can be reached at

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