April 17th, 2007

dancing

Robot Hall of Fame

Astro Boy, a member of the Robot Hall of Fame
At the Intelligent Vehicle Tech Transfer conference I found out about Carnegie Mellon's Robot Hall of Fame, established in April of 2003 to recognize excellence in robotics technology worldwide and honor the fictional and real robots that have inspired and made breakthrough accomplishments in robotics. Each year they plan to induct both real and fictional robots. This year's inductees will be announced at a Robot Hall of Fame luncheon on Tuesday, May 15 at the RoboBusiness conference, which is in Boston this year.

I am unsurprised and yet still disappointed to note that all of the fictional robots inducted to date have been robots in tv or the movies (though many of them made their debut in comics or books). It would be neat to see them increase the visibility of a fictional robot that has not been featured on screen. However, given that their jury has a robot actor (Anthony Daniels) and a guy who makes robots for the movies, but only one Science Fiction author (Arthur C. Clarke), I don't see it happening. I am glad to see Sherry Turkle on the Jury though. I almost went to study under her in the Science, Society and Technology program at MIT.

Who would you suggest they put on their jury if you were going to suggest an author or a robot-mad scholar of Science Fiction literature?

What robot(s) would you nominate to the Robot Hall of Fame?

I'm not sure it's a robot, but I think one of the most influential stories in the development of robotics had to have been Heinlein's novella Waldo, which gave name to a whole class of robotic assistants - remote manipulators.

You can nominate robots here, and I hope you do!