Friday, October 26, 2012

Robot Hall of Fame welcomes two iRobot machines and WALL-E

The Robot Hall of Fame this week enshrined two machines built by iRobot – its Roomba vacuum cleaner and PackBot military workhorse. It also added fictional trash-collecting robot WALL-E from the Disney-Pixar movie of the same name.
The Pittsburgh-based hall, which honors real robots from science and industry and fictional robots that serve as inspiration, held a ceremony Tuesday to induct two sets of robots.
The 2012 class of inductees includes Aldebaran Robotics’ NAO humanoid, iRobot’s PackBot bomb disposal robot, Boston Dynamics’ four-legged BigDog and WALL-E. I accurately predicted three of the four selections this year.
The ceremony, held at Carnegie Science Center, also honored the 2010 class, which was never formally enshrined. That class includes NASA Mars exploration rovers Spirit and Opportunity; iRobot’s Roomba; the da Vinci Surgical System; the characters Huey, Dewey and Louie from the 1971 film “Silent Running”; and T-800, the character played by actor Arnold Schwarzenegger in “The Terminator” film series.

Photos: iRobot’s PackBot at work (top) and Robot Hall of Fame poster. 

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