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Commander Data Joins LEGO Mindstorms in Hall of Fame

Posted 10 Apr 2008 at 15:53 UTC by steve Share This

It's official. CMU has inducted four new robots into the CMU Robot Hall of Fame for 2008: Lt. Command Data, the fictional android from Star Trek; LEGO Mindstorms, the popular robot kit; NAVLAB 5, an autonomous 1990 Pontiac Trans Sport; and the Raibert Hopper, the one-legged hopping robot designed by Marc Raibert who went on to Boston Dynamics where he worked on BigDog and other biped and quadruped robots. CMU had previously announced the identities of the four new famous robots but yesterday's ceremony marks the actual induction. Read on for the full text of CMU's press release.

April 9, 2008 For Immediate Release

Mike Marcus 412.237.1657 Marcusm@CarnegieScienceCenter.org

Carnegie mellon University’s Robot hall of fame®

inducts four robots

Hall of Fame to Have Permanent Home at Carnegie Science Center in 2009

PITTSBURGH, April 9, 2008 — Carnegie Mellon University will induct four robots into the Robot Hall of Fame® this evening at a ceremony at Carnegie Science Center and announce the Science Center as the new home of the Hall of Fame beginning in spring 2009.

The ceremony, featuring actors Anthony Daniels and Zachary Quinto, will highlight the contributions and significance of each of the new inductees – the Raibert Hopper, NavLab 5, LEGO® Mindstorms and the fictional Lt. Cmdr. Data.

In addition to the induction of the robots, Carnegie Science Center and Carnegie Mellon University announced today that the Robot Hall of Fame will have a permanent home beginning in spring 2009 when the Science Center opens roboworld, the nation’s largest and most comprehensive permanent robotics exhibition. The Robot Hall of Fame, created in 2003 by the Carnegie Mellon School of Computer Science, recognizes excellence in robotics technology worldwide and honors the fictional and real robots that have inspired and embodied breakthrough accomplishments in robotics. Each year a jury of scholars, researchers, writers, designers and entrepreneurs select the robots for recognition and induction into the Robot Hall of Fame.

Daniels, who played C-3PO in all six Star Wars movies, will serve as master of ceremonies and Quinto, a Carnegie Mellon alumnus who will play Spock in the upcoming Star Trek movie, will attend on behalf of Data, an android with super strength and super memory that was portrayed by actor Brent Spiner during the 1987-1994 television 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, a PhD 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. and is now group director of Foster-Miller, Inc., was one of two students who rode in NavLab 5 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 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.

About Carnegie Science Center

Carnegie Science Center brings the world of science alive for visitors of all ages. One of the four Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh, the Science Center features more than 400 hands-on exhibits, three live demonstration theaters, a four-story IMAX® Dome theater, an interactive full-dome digital planetarium, a science-of sport exhibition, a Cold War submarine moored on Pittsburgh’s Ohio River, and a world-renowned model railroad display. Carnegie Science Center is located at One Allegheny Avenue on Pittsburgh’s North Shore next to Heinz Field. Visit www.CarnegieScienceCenter.org or call 412.237.3400 for more information.

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 campus, Carnegie Mellon is also distinctive among leading research universities for the world-renowned programs in its College of Fine Arts. For more, see www.cmu.edu.

About Robot Hall of Fame

The Robot Hall of Fame® was created in 2003 by Carnegie Mellon University’s School of Computer Science to recognize and honor the real and fictional robots that have inspired imaginations and achieved technical excellence. For more, see www.robothalloffame.org.

About Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh

Founded by Andrew Carnegie in 1895, Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh is a collection of four distinctive museums dedicated to exploration through art and science: Carnegie Museum of Art, Carnegie Museum of Natural History, Carnegie Science Center, and The Andy Warhol Museum. In 2007, the museums reached 1.3 million people through exhibitions, educational programs, outreach activities, and special events.

Mike Marcus Assistant Director, Marketing and Community Affairs Carnegie Science Center

412.237.1657 412.551.8375 (cell) 412.237.3309 (fax) www.CarnegieScienceCenter.org

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