Monday Mar 11th, 2024

U. S. Steel Makes Strategic Investment in Freespace Robotics, A Pittsburgh-Based Autonomous Warehousing Pioneer

Company incubated in Carnegie Foundry, a Pittsburgh-based partner of Carnegie Mellon University

PITTSBURGH--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- United States Steel Corporation (NYSE: X) (“U. S. Steel”) today announced a strategic investment in Pittsburgh-based Freespace Robotics, a pioneering manufacturer of robotic storage and retrieval systems that are in demand by warehouses worldwide. This investment will help Freespace hire and retain local talent as well as recruit others into the region.

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"Investing in Freespace Robotics is another way we’re promoting innovation while supporting the regional economy and its workforce,” said Christian Gianni, U. S. Steel Senior Vice President & Chief Technology Officer. "Given Freespace’s ambitious growth plan rooted right here in our hometown, this investment also underscores how we’re doubling down on the region because we believe in its potential to be a force for innovation in the U.S. and beyond.”

Freespace Robotics manufactures an autonomous storage system that leverages robots to store and retrieve goods in ways that are new to market. For example, its robots can handle multiple goods at once, more sizes of goods, and can store and retrieve goods in a single action. The company will use U. S. Steel’s investment to execute on pilot programs, establish its manufacturing presence in the region and scale up its team.

Automated storage and retrieval systems are used for warehousing, retail, and logistics; from the largest of distribution centers to regional centers, and micro-fulfillment and back of store for ecommerce. The warehouse automation market in the U.S. alone is expected to grow at a Compounded Annual Growth Rate of over 15% through 2028 and become a $44B market globally by 2028. [source: LogisticsIQ]

“This region has a long history of industrial innovation through advances in hardware and large-scale equipment,” said Freespace Robotics CEO Dr. Robert J. Szczerba. “U. S. Steel knows first-hand the importance of creating an innovation pipeline for themselves and the additional value of doing so in its hometown with hometown talent.”

“The Freespace Robotics team are clear leaders and innovators. These highly advanced technologies will be essential for a robust, resilient, and more efficient supply chain,” added Gianni.

Freespace Robotics is a portfolio company from Carnegie Foundry, a Robotics and AI venture studio headquartered in Pittsburgh that partners with the world leader in autonomous robotics – the National Robotics Engineering Center (NREC) at Carnegie Mellon University – to build its technologically advanced solutions. NREC combines expertise from decades of applied R&D work in autonomy with highly strategic, corporate and public sector partners to bring multi-use technology solutions to market. U. S Steel is also an anchor investor of Carnegie Foundry.

As part of this investment, U. S. Steel’s Director of Strategy & Corporate Development, Jim Cook, will join the Freespace Robotics Board of Directors. Additional terms of the deal were not disclosed.

About U. S. Steel

Founded in 1901, United States Steel Corporation is a leading steel producer. With an unwavering focus on safety, the Company’s customer-centric Best for All®strategy is advancing a more secure, sustainable future for U. S. Steel and its stakeholders. With a renewed emphasis on innovation, U. S. Steel serves the automotive, construction, appliance, energy, containers, and packaging industries with high value-added steel products such as U. S. Steel’s proprietary XG3®advanced high-strength steel. The Company also maintains competitively advantaged iron ore production and has an annual raw steelmaking capability of 22.4 million net tons. U. S. Steel is headquartered in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, with world-class operations across the United States and in Central Europe. For more information, please visit

About Freespace Robotics

Freespace Robotics is a warehouse automation company with a reimagining of Automated Storage and Retrieval Systems (AS/RS) that are space efficient and high-speed; capable of high-volume movement of goods, in nearly any size, shape, and temperature environment. We are a robotic automation and AI company laser-focused on delivering unimagined advances in order-fulfillment and movement of goods. Freespace Robotics is based, rooted, and embedded in Pittsburgh, where industrial innovation and AI is bred, deployed and acquired. To learn more about Freespace Robotics, please visit

Investment: Matthew B. Wachter,
Pilot / Sales: Karl Sanchack,

About Carnegie Foundry

Carnegie Foundry is a unique Robotics and AI venture studio, headquartered in Pittsburgh, PA. In partnership with the world leader in autonomous robotics and AI - the National Robotics Engineering Center (NREC) at Carnegie Mellon University – we develop, mature and spin out companies that commercialize cutting-edge intellectual property and advanced prototypes, already market tested and primed for new and expanded applications. For more information visit


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Emily Chieng
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