The Innovation Project: Lisa Michaux-Smith, Jorgen Pedersen, Aaron Nicely

Lisa Michaux-Smith is lead software engineer, Jorgen Pedersen is President and CEO and Aaron Nicely Production and Engineering Coordinator of RE².

(l-r) Lisa Michaux-Smith, Lead Software Engineer
Jorgen Pedersen, President and CEO
Aaron Nicely, Production and Engineering Coordinator
RE² Robotics

While scouting war zones and disarming explosives are inherently dangerous, Pittsburgh’s own RE² Robotics is making huge strides in improving the safety and efficiency of such tasks.

Founded in 2001, RE² helps organizations increase worker safety and productivity through easy-to-use, humanlike mobile robotic-arm systems. 

One such system, the Highly Dexterous Manipulation System (HDMS), features two robotic arms that users can operate to defuse bombs from a safe distance. Other products include RE²’s award-winning unmanned ground vehicles, which were created for the U.S. Army for high-speed scouting, and the Semi-Autonomous Pipe Bomb Endcap Remover, which helps bomb squad technicians safely disassemble improvised explosives while preserving evidence for prosecution purposes. 

“I am proud to know that the robotic arms we have sold to date are being used by the U.S. military to improve the productivity and safety of [explosive ordnance disposal] missions, keeping servicemen and women out of harm’s way,” says RE² President and CEO Jorgen Pedersen. 

In order to ensure its clients’ safety and efficiency, the company must continually improve and adapt its products. 

“We are constantly innovating ways to make robotic arms lighter, stronger, faster, more dexterous, safer and easier to use,” says Pedersen. Funding from Innovation Works has helped fuel this product development and growth. “Innovation is a common theme throughout our business — from the products we design and develop to the processes behind the scenes.”

To fuel this innovation, Pedersen practices an open-door policy by which he’s always available to coworkers.

“Our team thrives on the agility and open communication that comes with being a small company,” says Pedersen. “The startup culture produces a sense of family, pride and ownership that permeates everything we do and drives us toward our common goals.” 

And while one common goal is to continuously innovate and make a difference in the world, Pedersen admits he also aims to “help grow the tech base in Pittsburgh to further solidify our reputation as Roboburgh.”


David Kalson
Cohen & Grigsby

From the birth to the sale of a technology company, entrepreneurs face countless hurdles. To ensure that rising talent overcomes such obstacles, Cohen & Grigsby’s Emerging Business Group, chaired by Director David Kalson, offers entrepreneurs in sectors such as robotics, information technology and life sciences essential legal services and business advice, including assistance with entity formation, licensing intellectual property, financing, operations and more. The firm also developed C&G AlphaLaw. One of the first programs of its kind in the country, C&G AlphaLaw provides AlphaLab and AlphaLab Gear companies with key legal services either free of charge or at reduced rates during their formative growth stages.

To C&G, “Innovation means the best and brightest creating groundbreaking solutions to problems the rest of us haven’t even yet recognized,” says Kalson.


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