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Press Release

Contact:
Anne Watzman
412-268-3830

For immediate release:
April 30, 2003

Carnegie Mellon Announces Creation of The Robot Hall of Fame; Assembles a Panel of Renowned Judges to Select the First Inductees

PITTSBURGH—Building upon its leadership position in robotics research and development, and in recognition of the increasing benefits robots are bringing to society, Carnegie Mellon University has established "The Robot Hall of Fame™" to honor noteworthy robots, both real and fictional, along with their creators.

Experts in Carnegie Mellon's School of Computer Science and Robotics Institute will collaborate with Pittsburgh's Carnegie Science Center and the Pennsylvania Departments of Tourism and Economic Development to create a permanent, interactive exhibition involving robots that will educate and entertain a wide variety of audiences.

According to James H. Morris, dean of the School of Computer Science, who conceived the idea of the Hall of Fame, multiple categories of robots will be honored—those that work, those that entertain and those that inspire. "In the coming decades, real robots will play increasingly important roles in our society," he said. "We want to honor robots that have served an actual or potentially useful function and demonstrated real skill, along with robots that entertain and those that have achieved worldwide fame in the context of fiction," Morris said.

Morris said that plans are to locate an interactive exhibit based on the Robot Hall of Fame at Pittsburgh's Carnegie Science Center. Initially, the exhibit will be housed in the School of Computer Science on Carnegie Mellon's campus. Induction of the first robots will take place in fall 2003.

"We applaud the efforts of our friends at Carnegie Mellon University to create meaningful programs that educate the public about the role of robotics in our lives and the important role that Pittsburgh plays in the field of robotics," said Ellsworth Brown, president, Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh. "Through the work of our staff at Carnegie Science Center, we share the university's passion for this exciting area of scientific development and its commitment to engage wider audiences in its many applications."

"We are pleased to establish The Robot Hall of Fame here in Pittsburgh," said Carnegie Mellon University President Jared Cohon. "Not only will it add value to what we do as an educational institution, but it will also give the university another opportunity to give something back to Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania. By creating a Hall of Fame to showcase the most important accomplishments in the field of robotics, we can educate a broad array of area residents and visitors about the excitement and importance of this field."

Each year, a jury of experts will choose robots in each category to be inducted into the Hall of Fame. The first panel includes:

  • Minoru Asada, professor of engineering, Osaka University, and a founder of the International Robocup Federation
  • Rodney Brooks, director, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Artificial Intelligence Laboratory and author of "Flesh and Machines"
  • Ellsworth Brown, president, The Carnegie Museums
  • Arthur C. Clarke, science fiction writer, futurist and author of "2001"
  • Henrik Christensen, computer science professor and director, Centre for Autonomous Systems, Royal Institute of Technology, KTH Stockholm, Sweden
  • Ray Jarvis, director, Intelligent Robotics Research Centre, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia
  • Donald Marinelli, professor of drama and co-director of the Entertainment Technology Center, Carnegie Mellon
  • James H. Morris, dean, School of Computer Science, Carnegie Mellon
  • Raj Reddy, Simon University Professor and founder of the Robotics Institute, Carnegie Mellon University
  • Charles Thorpe, director, Robotics Institute, Carnegie Mellon
Morris said the first robots will be inducted in the fall of 2003. Nominations, which can be made by anyone, are open as of April 30, 2003, and will be closed by August 31, 2003.

Nominations should include a short paragraph justifying the case and can include videotapes and other material. They should be sent to James Morris at Carnegie Mellon — James.morris@cmu.edu. The jury will select the inductees by October 1, 2003, and announce the results at a suitable ceremony by November 30 of this year.

Creators of the honored robots will be asked to provide the Hall of Fame with the robot or a replica, as well as video material of its exploits. A plaque honoring the robots and their creators will be placed in a prominent area on the Carnegie Mellon campus where the public may view them. The creators of the robots will receive a copy of the plaque.

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