I know that many of us who either visit E2 just to read the articles or to actually contribute to the site are in one shape or form a fan of robots. After all, we’ve loved them in early the science fiction movies and television shows since they first started appearing in their primitive form back in the early 50’s. Today, while still appearing in entertainment and movies, real robots and robotics have become an almost indispensable way of life.
In order to recognize their achievements both in fantasy and as productive members of society the fine staff at the Carnegie Mellon University located in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania decided to take matters into their own hands. Beginning in 2003 they established something known as The Robot Hall of Fame and in every two year interval since have nominated and inducted both fictional and real life robots in honor of their contributions to us humans.
Before we get to the actual list itself I thought it might be interesting to take a look at the selection process the nominees must endure before becoming enshrined in history.
In its infancy The Robot Hall of Fame selections were made via a panel of distinguished jurists chosen from throughout the world. It included respected people in the world of robots and after looking over the list the only one that was familiar to me was Arthur C. Clark. That all changed this year when the jury process was benched in favor of sending out a survey to 107 respected authorities when the topic came to robots. They included scholars, authors, researchers, designers and others who had all made substantial contributions to their chosen field.
Next, they were asked to make three choices in the following categories:
Education & Consumer
Industrial & Service
Once the ballots were returned they were tallied and the top three candidates in each field that made the grade were then voted upon by the general public via an online process. From there it was whittled down to one robot per category based upon the public vote and those that were selected by the panel of experts.
Drum roll please
So, without further ado I now present to you the full list of robots that have been inducted since 2003 up to the present.
In the world of fiction it should come as no surprise to anyone that HAL 9000 from 2001: A Space Odyssey and R2-D2 from Star Wars were among the first enshrined in the hall.
When it came to matters of real life, the first inductees were Sojourner, the land rover that first wandered around Mars back in 1997 and a blast from the past called “Unimate” which was one of the first robots to toil on the assembly line of General Motors way back in 1961.
This year the fictional world gave us Astro Boy, C-3PO (another feather in the cap of Star Wars) and Robby the Robot from the classic Forbidden Planet.
More practical real life incantations included something called the Honda ASIMO and something called “Shakey the Robot”. Shakey name withstanding, this robot was the first one able to reason its own actions.
The world of make believe gave us Maria from Metropolis, Gort, from the 1951 thiller The Day the Earth Stood Still and David, the android from Steven Spielberg’s film A.I: Artificial Intelligence.
Their earthly counterparts included AIBO, a robotic dog created by Sony and something I’d never heard of until today called SCARA which is apparently some kind of robotic arm that replicates human motion.
The world of outer space brought us the likes of Commander Data, the loveable android from Star Trek: The Next Generation as the sole inductee.
His real life counterparts saw the Lego Mindstorms Robots, Navlab and something called “Hopper”, a robot that had to keep moving in order to stay upright.
The movies dominated the fictional category as the T-800 from The Terminator and Huey, Dewey, and Louie from the flick Silent Running graced the dais.
Real word developments paid homage to the likes of Spirit and Opportunity, both Mars Rovers, the da Vinci Surgical System and Roomba, the robotic vacuum cleaner.
This years ceremonies for fictional robots gave us WALL-E from our friends over at Pixar.
Real life accomplishments were awarded to a humanoid robot from Aldebaran Robotics, something called “Packbot", a robotic bomb disposal unit and last but not least something known as BigDog, a robot that can walk, run and carry stuff up steep hills and all sorts of terrain.
So there you have it my fine human friends, a complete up to date list off all the robots that the learned fellows at the Carnegie Mellon Institute have recognized for their contributions to the world in general. I’m sure many of you have thoughts of your own about these choices but someday maybe the voters will find your favorite and include them in the process.
Note to self:
Make mental note to update this node in 2014 when the next round of inductees are chosen or build robot to update node automatically as events transpire.