Twelve robots in four groups are competing for a place in the Robot Hall of Fame, and for the first time the public is allowed to vote on nominees in Education and Consumer, Entertainment, Industrial and Service, and Research categories. A pool of more than 100 international scientists and experts nominated the contenders which include every thing from a kit for designing and building robots in schools, to Rosie - the maid robot in the Jetsons.
Shirley Saldamarco, faculty member at Carnegie Mellon University's Entertainment and Technology Center, and president of the Hall of Fame said the robots themselves cannot "accept" their induction, "So, it is the creator, or the designer that accepts on behalf of the robot. So it's acknowledging the accomplishment of the creator, but also of the contribution the robots are making in their specific fields."
The induction ceremony takes place October 23. Robots of note previously inducted include NASA's Mars Sojourner, Honda's ASIMO and Star Wars' R2-D2.
Information on voting can be found on line at the Robot Hall of Fame's website. The Hall of Fame is located on the second floor of the Carnegie Science Center.
2012 nominees include:
Education & Consumer robots:
- Aldebaran Robotics’ NAO, a 22-inch-tall humanoid that is widely used in education worldwide;
- iRobot’s Create, a programmable robot based on the company’s popular robotic vacuum cleaner, Roomba;
- VEX Robotics Design System, a kit for designing and building robots that is widely used in the classroom and in competitions.
- WALL-E, a waste-collecting robot that is the hero, love interest and namesake of Pixar’s 2008 computer-animated science fiction film;
- Johnny 5, a prototype military robot that learns to reject destruction and embrace life in the 1986 science fiction comedy, “Short Circuit”;
- Rosie, a maid robot with motherly qualities that took care of a human family on The Jetsons, a Hanna-Barbera animated sitcom first broadcast on ABC in 1962.
Industrial & Service robots:
- iRobot’s PackBot, which performs bomb disposal and other dangerous assignments for the U.S. military;
- Kiva System’s autonomous warehouse robots, which speed the processing of customer orders. (Amazon Inc. acquired Kiva earlier this year);
- Jason, a remotely operated vehicle designed and built by Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, has explored hydrothermal vents in the Pacific, Atlantic, and Indian Oceans; a prototype, Jason Jr., surveyed the wreck of the Titanic.
- BigDog, a four-legged robot the size of a large dog or small mule, was developed by Boston Dynamics for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency to walk, run or climb with heavy loads over rough terrain;
- PR2, a two-armed robot built by Willow Garage that can navigate human environments and has the dexterity to grasp and manipulate objects;
- Robonaut, a dexterous, two-armed robot developed by NASA’s Johnson Space Center to help humans work in space; the latest version, Robonaut 2, was launched to the International Space Station in February 2011.