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Beloved Bots

Four More Join Robot Hall of Fame


Actors Anthony Daniels and Zachary Quinto will help Carnegie Mellon's Robot Hall of Fame® induct four robots — the Raibert Hopper, NavLab5, LEGO® Mindstorms and Star Trek's Lt. Cmdr. Data — during a ceremony April 9 at Carnegie Science Center.

Carnegie Mellon's School of Computer Science established the Robot Hall of Fame in 2003 to honor robots — both real and fictional — that have inspired people and achieved excellence. Now shepherded by Carnegie Mellon's Entertainment Technology Center and Robotics Institute, this year the university is partnering with Carnegie Science Center to administer the Hall of Fame.

Daniels, who played C-3PO in all six Star Wars movies, will be master of ceremonies. Quinto, a Carnegie Mellon alumnus who stars on Heroes and will play Spock in an upcoming Star Trek movie, will attend on behalf of Data. The android with super strength and a super memory was portrayed by actor Brent Spiner in "Star Trek: The Next Generation."

Also scheduled to attend are Marc Raibert, president of Boston Dynamics, who led development of the one-legged Hopper in his Leg Laboratory, first at Carnegie Mellon and later at MIT. The Raibert Hopper explored principles of dynamic balance that are central to agile movement by bipedal and quadrapedal robots. Lars Nyengaard, director of Innovation and Education Projects for LEGO Education will be on hand for the induction of Mindstorms, a robotic kit that made robots accessible to the masses.

Todd Jochem, a Ph.D. graduate of Carnegie Mellon's Robotics Institute, will speak at the ceremony on behalf of NavLab 5, one of a series of autonomous vehicles developed at the Robotics Institute. Jochem, who later founded Applied Perception Inc., was one of two students who rode in NavLab in 1995's "No Hands Across America" tour, during which NavLab 5 steered itself coast-to-coast on public highways.

Inductees are chosen by an international jury of leading thinkers and technology developers. The four robots being inducted this year were announced last May at the RoboBusiness Conference and Exposition in Boston. The induction ceremony at Carnegie Science Center is being held in conjunction with this year's RoboBusiness conference, which is at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center April 8-10.

Related Links: Robot Hall of Fame  |  Mindstorms  |  Entertainment Technology Center  |  Robotics Institute

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