Carnegie Mellon University In Pittsburgh Wants Your Vote For Robot Hall Of Fame

By Mo Mozuch on August 21, 2012 4:17 PM EDT

photo: robotshop.com
photo: robotshop.com

These ARE the droids you're looking for.

Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh is seeking public votes for this year's inductees into its Robot Hall of Fame. The ceremony, scheduled for October 23, will honor the 2012 inductees as well as some notables from the 2010 RHoF class: NASA Mars Exploration Rovers Spirit and Opportunity, iRobot's Roomba vacuum cleaner, 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.

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The event is designed to be a celebration of actual robotic science and the famous automatons in the media that have inspired and fueled our love affair with robots. Honda's Asimo, a real-life feat of robotic engineering, was inducted alongside C-3P0 and R2-D2, for example. Public participation is a new feature this year, and is a PR move to spark interest in the event, which started in 2003. The last time new robots were officially inducted into the hall was 2008.

The 12 nominees for this year's ceremony were chosen by a panel of 107 robotics experts assembled by Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh. They are divided into four categories: Education and Consumer, Entertainment, Industrial and Service and Research.  Among the most notable nominees are Disney/Pixar superstar Wall-E, retro-toon Rosie from the TV series "The Jetsons" and Johnny 5 from the popular 80s film series "Short Circuit." Other nominees include NAO, a humanoid robot best known for its role in the Robot Soccer World Cup, and PackBot, a bomb disposal robot with more than 2,000 units active in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Voting takes place until September 30, and online votes will be used in conjunction with expert analysis to determine this year's winners. The October 23 ceremony will be held at the Carnegie Science Center in Pittsburgh in partnership with the RoboBusiness Leadership Summit.  Tickets are available for $99 and include admission to a 90-minute reception before the ceremony.

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