Carnegie Mellon’s Robot Hall of Fame® Inducts Four Robots
Ceremony Includes Star Wars’ Anthony Daniels, Star Trek’s Zachary Quinto
Tuesday, April 8, 2009 (Robotics Online) Actors Anthony Daniels and Zachary Quinto will help Carnegie Mellon University’s Robot Hall of Fame® induct four robots— the Raibert Hopper, NavLab5, LEGO® Mindstorms and the fictional Lt. Cmdr. Data — during an April 9 ceremony at the Carnegie Science Center.
Daniels, who played C-3PO in all six Star Wars movies, will be master of ceremonies. Quinto, a Carnegie Mellon alumnus who will play Spock in an upcoming Star Trek movie, will attend on behalf of Data, an android with super strength and a super memory that was portrayed by actor Brent Spiner during the 1987-1994 run of ‘‘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, who earned his Ph.D. at 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.
The four robots being inducted this year were announced last May at the RoboBusiness Conference and Exposition in Boston. The induction ceremony at the 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.
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. The Entertainment Technology Center and Robotics Institute are now partnering with the Carnegie Science Center to administer the Robot Hall of Fame. Inductees are chosen by an international jury of leading thinkers and technology developers.
About Carnegie Mellon
Carnegie Mellon is a private research university with a distinctive mix of programs in engineering, computer science, robotics, business, public policy, fine arts and the humanities. More than 10,000 undergraduate and graduate students receive an education characterized by its focus on creating and implementing solutions for real problems, interdisciplinary collaboration, and innovation. A small student-to-faculty ratio provides an opportunity for close interaction between students and professors. While technology is pervasive on its 144-acre Pittsburgh campus, Carnegie Mellon is also distinctive among leading research universities for the world-renowned programs in its College of Fine Arts. A global university, Carnegie Mellon has campuses in Silicon Valley, Calif., and Qatar, and programs in Asia, Australia and Europe. For more, see www.cmu.edu.