The Robot Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony was a star-studded night – and although the Robots were the main attraction, there were a few human celebrities as well. CMU President Jared Cohon, presenting the category of Education and Consumer, announced the induction of NAO, the humanoid robot from Alderbaran Robotics. Accepting on behalf of NAO was Nathanel Dukan.
The ETC’s QUASI, presenter in the Entertainment Category, shared the stage with WALL-E inducting him into the Robot hall of Fame while Moshe Mahler, from the Pittsburgh Disney Research Lab, accepted on WALL-E’s behalf. Tom Phelps, Director Robotics Products, North America, iRobot accepted on behalf of PackBot, the inductee in the category of Industrial and Service. John Dulchinos, President and CEO of Adept Technology, was the presenter in that category. Marc Raibert, CEO of Boston Dynamic, accepted on behalf of BigDog who was inducted in the category of Research presented by Henry Thorne, Chief Technology Officer and co-founder of 4moms. Marc now has two robots in the Hall of Fame, BigDog and the Raibert Hopper inducted as part of the class of 2008.
This year’s induction ceremony was a double header. CMU Professor Dr. Red Whittaker was the presenter inducting robots from the Class of 2010. Robots in the Entertainment Category included Terminator and Huey, Dewey and Louie from the film, Silent Running. Inducted in the Scientific Category were Mars Rovers Spirit and Opportunity. Accepting on their behalf was Lt. Col. Joseph T. Morgan, United States Air Force. Accepting on behalf of Intuitive Surgical’s daVinci Surgical System, was Dan Jones, Executive Director, External Affairs. Youssef Saleh, Vice President & General Manager, Remote Presence, iRobot was there to accept on behalf of Roomba.
A special treat to the evening's activities was the comedy sketch presented by CMU Doctorial Researcher and Social Roboticists, Heather Knight and her stand up comedienne NAO robot, DATA.
Robot Hall of Fame Director and ETC faculty member, Shirley Saldamarco would like to send a special shout out to three amazing people: David Ruppersberger and Patti Rote, who formed the Executive Committee with her, and Kris Elder, the RHoF intern, who is currently a Masters of Entertainment Management student.
It was very exciting to see the amount of interest generated not only in the fields of robotics and entertainment but also among the general public. Over 17,000 people voted for their favorite robot. Make sure you check us out on FaceBook and let us know who you think should be nominated in 2014!