Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Your Guide to This Year's Cmu Robot Hall of Famers

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Your Guide to This Year's Cmu Robot Hall of Famers

Article excerpt

Carnegie Mellon University created the Robot Hall of Fame in 2003 to recognize achievements in robotics technology and honor the most influential and innovative robots, both real and fictional.

In other words, a Pro Football Hall of Fame for robots.

Although the induction ceremony may not generate the same excitement as when the Steelers join the elite in Canton, Ohio, you can buy a ticket online for $99 to attend the Oct. 23 ceremony at the Carnegie Science Center. (I assume robots get in free.)

This year for the first time, voting for the inductees has been opened to the public. This year's four inductees will be decided half by public vote and half by the committee of voters. So vote at robothalloffame.org.

As the PG film critics pick who they think is going to win the Oscars, TechMan is making his guesses for which robots will reign supreme.

Category 1 -- Education and Consumer

The nominees are:

* NAO, an autonomous, programmable, humanoid robot that has played in the Robot Soccer World Cup

* Create was based on the Roomba floor-cleaning platform (a 2010 jury-selected inductee). Create accepts practically all accessories designed for iRobot's domestic robots.

* VEX Robotics Design Systems is a platform that offers hands-on ways to explore science, technology, engineering and math.

TechMan is going to go here with NAO simply because of the word "humanoid." Humans vote for robots that look like humans.

Category 2 -- Entertainment

This is the glamor category, the quarterbacks and running backs of the robot world. The nominees are:

* WALL-E (Waste Allocation Load Lifter -- Earth Class), the lovable star of the 2008 blockbuster by the same name

* Rosie is the household robot from "The Jetsons" animated TV show. She was based on the previous nonanimated TV character Hazel, played by Shirley Booth.

Johnny 5 was the star of the 1986 film "Short Circuit. …

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