Carnegie Mellon Press Release: November 26, 2003
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Press Release

Contact:
Eric Sloss
412-268-5765
Anne Watzman
412-268-3830

For immediate release:
November 26, 2003

Carnegie Mellon Hires Roboceptionist

PITTSBURGH—Carnegie Mellon University's School of Computer Science (SCS) and its School of Drama are pleased to announce the hiring of Valerie, the university's first robot receptionist, to greet and direct visitors as they enter the lobby of Newell-Simon Hall.

A national search was undertaken through BotJobs.com to find the perfect robot. The selection process was a long and arduous one, with many qualified robots interviewing for the position. Letters of interest were received from such applicants as Navlab 11 and Project LISTEN's Reading Tutor. In addition to her sparkling personality, Valerie was hired for her ability to remember names, give directions and tell stories.

"I am delighted to be a part of the Carnegie Mellon team, though my heart tells me to be a lounge singer," said Valerie. "Being a roboceptionist is something my motherboard always wanted me to be." Reid Simmons, research professor in SCS' Robotics Institute, and Anne Mundell, associate professor of design for the School of Drama, were co-chairs of the roboceptionist hiring committee.

Please visit Valerie, say hello and find out a little bit about her. She's located on the third floor (main entrance) of Newell-Simon Hall any day from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Be sure to bring your university ID card so she can identify you. For more information visit www.roboceptionist.com

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