About the CMU Academic Cloud Lab


the way we think about and DO science


The academic Cloud Lab is primarily for the use of the CMU research community and CMU educational purposes, providing access to a wide array of instrumentation. The Academic Cloud Lab has already been used to teach courses for both undergraduate and graduate students, and CMU researchers have conducted research using ECL facilities.


the traditional borders between science fields

Why Use the Academic Cloud Lab


Reduce costs and increase experimental output.


Break free of limitations posed by instrumentation availability.


Focus on intellectual contribution instead of manual labor.


Repeat past work at the push of a button.


All data contextualized with methods and analyses.

How Cloud Labs Work


Drop your samples  at designated drop points on campus and design your experiments in the Command Center application.


Your experiments are remotely conducted in a highly automated cloud lab facility exactly to your specifications.


Constellation organizes your data into a powerful knowledge graph, growing automatically over time as you conduct more experiments.


Command Center provides an extensive suite of tools to plot, analyze, and visualize your results. Pick up your processed samples at the designated drop points.

Carnegie Mellon University is building the world’s first Academic Cloud Lab based on the concept pioneered by two CMU alumni through their company, Emerald Cloud Lab (ECL). Researchers using the Cloud Lab order experiments over the internet and a combination of robotic instrumentation and trained technicians in the Cloud Lab perform experiments exactly as specified. Data is then returned to the researchers, typically within a day. A two-minute video on the ECL website gives an overview of how the Cloud Lab works and a virtual tour allows you to explore the ECL facility.

The CMU Academic Cloud Lab will be built in Pittsburgh (completion anticipated for the first half of 2023). It will house 200 commercial chemical and life sciences instruments, giving researchers the ability to orchestrate complex workflows and run multiple experiments simultaneously, vastly improving research productivity. All samples and operations are barcoded and scanned, so everything is traceable and reproducible. The Cloud Lab provides access to a wide array of instrumentation; the current anticipated instrument list for the Academic Cloud lab is here (PDF). A 14-member faculty working group was convened over the course of 2020-2021 to develop this instrument list. See FAQs page for more information.

CMU is the right home for the Academic Cloud Lab with world-leading expertise in areas such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, robotics, biological sciences, nucleic acid chemistry, materials science, and computational biology. The CMU Academic Cloud Lab will be primarily for the use of the CMU research community and for CMU educational purposes. The Cloud Lab has already been used to teach CMU courses for both undergraduate and graduate students, conduct faculty research.

To learn more about the Cloud Lab and how to use it in your own research and teaching, please attend the information sessions. The CMU Cloud Lab team is developing a full Cloud Lab training program in partnership with ECL and the OLI team at CMU. This new inclusive, accessible, and educational training program will allow students, researchers and future Cloud Lab users from CMU and other institutions to learn how to perform scientific research in a Cloud Lab. By combining asynchronous and instructor-led interactive courses for different scientific fields, the CMU Cloud Lab training program is designed to offer a diversity of learning experiences and more flexibility toward students and researcher’s schedules.

If you have any questions, please contact Florent Letronne or Edward Dunlea.

Cloud lab map

Map showing location of the CMU Cloud Lab

Organizing committee

Edward Dunlea

Edward Dunlea

MCS Advancement

Brian Frezza

Brian Frezza

Emerald Cloud Lab

D.J. Kleinbaum

D.J. Kleinbaum

Emerald Cloud Lab

Florent Letronne

Florent Letronne

Tartan Testing Lab