Robots Made Their Marks in Film, Factories and Research
PITTSBURGH—A robotic pet, an industrial robot and three robot stars of classic movies will be inducted into Carnegie Mellon University's Robot Hall of Fame® in a June 21 ceremony at the Sheraton Station Square in Pittsburgh.
Actor Anthony Daniels, who played the robot C-3PO in all six "Star Wars" films, returns as master of ceremonies and Daniel H. Wilson, author of "How to Survive a Robot Uprising," published in 2005, will be the keynote speaker.
This year's class of inductees, announced in April, include Maria, the art deco star of the 1927 silent film classic "Metropolis"; Gort, the metallic giant sent to Earth to establish peace in the 1951 sci-fi thriller "The Day the Earth Stood Still"; David, the boy-like android who bonded with his adoptive mother in Steven Spielberg's "Artificial Intelligence: AI"; Sony's AIBO, a dog-like entertainment robot that became a research and education workhorse; and the Selective Compliance Assembly Robot Arm (SCARA), an industrial robot that helped make inexpensive consumer electronic devices commonplace.
Participants in the ceremony will include SCARA inventor Hiroshi Makino, an emeritus professor at the University of Yamanashi in Japan, and actor Billy Gray, who played actress Patricia Neal's young son in "The Day the Earth Stood Still" and later became a boomer icon as Bud in the hit '50s TV show "Father Knows Best."
The affair will cap the RoboBusiness Conference and Exposition, a two-day international business development event for mobile robotics and intelligent systems, produced by Robotic Trends Inc.
This is the third induction for the hall of fame, which was founded in 2003 by James H. Morris, dean of Carnegie Mellon West, the university's four-year-old campus in Silicon Valley. It highlights the contributions of robots to society by honoring robots that are technological landmarks, as well as fictional robots that captured the public imagination and inspired roboticists to make dreams reality. Inductees are chosen by an international panel of researchers, educators and enthusiasts.
"When C-3PO was inducted into the Robot Hall of Fame, he felt his existence had finally been given the validation it deserved, rather than the brush-off usually awarded him by characters like Han Solo," said Daniels, a veteran of stage and screen who served as emcee when the golden android was inducted in 2004. "Now, I've been asked to return to Carnegie Mellon to host this year's awards. I feel validated as a human."
Wilson, who earned a doctorate in robotics at Carnegie Mellon's famed Robotics Institute, will tell "The Truth About Robots" in his keynote address. A film version of his tongue-in-cheek guidebook, "How to Survive a Robot Uprising," starring comedian Mike Myers, is slated for release by Paramount Pictures next year.
The ceremony will feature video clips of each of the robots in action and commentary by people who have been involved in their creation or their nomination to the hall.
SCARA (Click on these images to download high resolution versions)
Maria © copyright Kino International Film Distribution, 2006.
David © copyright Artificial Intelligence: AI, Dreamworks/Warner Brothers, 2001.
Gort © copyright The Day The Earth Stood Still, Twentieth Century FOX, 1951.
Carnegie Mellon's Robot Hall of Fame® is a joint project of its Robotics Institute and its Entertainment Technology Center. For more information, visit