Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Terminator, Roomba in Robot Hall of Fame

The Robot Hall of Fame has chosen the T-800 Terminator from the 1984 film “The Terminator” and iRobot’s Roomba robotic vacuum cleaner for its latest class of inductees.
The other members of the class of 2010 are NASA’s Mars rovers Spirit and Opportunity; Intuitive Surgical’s DaVinci Medical Robot System; and Huey, Dewey, and Louie from the 1971 film “Silent Running.” Check out the press release here.
Carnegie Science Center and Carnegie Mellon University announced the inductees Tuesday at a press preview of Roboworld, the Pittsburgh science center’s new robotics exhibition opening June 13. Roboworld will be the permanent home for the Robot Hall of Fame. The hall honors both real world robots and fictional robots.
The five inductees (actually eight, but who’s counting) are all fine choices. For the second year in a row, real robots outnumber the fictional ones among the selections. That’s a testament to the maturation of the robotics industry.
My only complaint is that the group won’t be formally inducted until a ceremony next year. So, the Robot Hall of Fame is skipping a year of inductees. The last three classes of inductees have been done every two years. As a robot enthusiast, that’s disappointing to me. There are enough interesting robots to be inducted annually. Hopefully with the Roboworld exhibit opening, inductions will take place on a yearly basis after next year.

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