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Robot Hall of Fame® Induction Ceremony

October 23, 2012 —The Robot Hall of Fame® inducted robots from its 2010 and 2012 classes at a gala ceremony Oct. 23 at the Carnegie Science Center before a full house in the Bayer Science Stage. Bill Flanagan, former KDKA reporter and now executive vice president of the Allegheny Conference on Community Development served as emcee for the ceremony. The 2012 inductees were the first to be chosen based on a public, online vote; more than 17,000 people worldwide participated.

The Robot Hall of Fame was created in 2003 by Carnegie Mellon University. It honors robots, both real and imagined, that have spurred imaginations and amazed people.

The Robot Hall of Fame 2012 induction ceremony was at the Carnegie Science Center in Pittsburgh. During the pre-ceremony reception, guests could check out the center’s roboworld, the world’s largest permanent robotics exhibit and the physical home of the Robot Hall of Fame. Members of the Girls of Steel, a FIRST robot competition team, kept the Robot Hall of Fame event running smoothly. The Girls of Steel are Pittsburgh-area high school students; the team is sponsored by Carnegie Mellon’s Field Robotics Center. With the ceremony underway, William “Red” Whittaker, Carnegie Mellon University professor of robotics and director of the Field Robotics Center, shepherded the inductions of the previously announced 2010 class into the Robot Hall of Fame: NASA’s Mars Rovers Spirit and Opportunity, iRobot’s Roomba, the daVinci Surgical System, the characters Huey, Dewey and Louie from the 1971 film “Silent Running,” and the T-800 Terminator, the robot portrayed by Arnold Schwarzenegger in the 1984 film “The Terminator.” Heather Knight, a Ph.D. student in Carnegie Mellon’s Robotics Institute, entertained the Robot Hall of Fame audience with the help of Data, an Aldebaran NAO robot she has programmed as a standup comedian. Jared L. Cohon, president of Carnegie Mellon University, began the 2012 inductions by announcing that Aldebaran Robotics’ NAO humanoid robot was chosen for the Robot Hall of Fame’s Education category. Natanel Dukan, Americas area manager for Aldebaran Robotics, appeared on stage with NAO to acknowledge the robot’s induction into the Robot Hall of Fame and accept a plaque from President Cohon. John Dulchinos, president and CEO of Adept Technology, builds suspense as he prepares to open the envelope that contains the 2012 inductee in the Robot Hall of Fame’s Industrial & Service category: iRobot’s PackBot bomb disposal robot. A member of the Girls of Steel delivers the envelope containing the winner of the Robot Hall of Fame’s Research category to Henry Thorne, chief technology officer of 4Moms. Marc Raibert, former CMU and MIT professor and the founder of Boston Dynamics, accepts a plaque from Henry Thorne, chief technology officer of 4Moms, signifying the 2012 induction of the four-legged BigDog. The Boston Dynamics robot entered the Robot Hall of Fame in the Research category. Moshe Mahler (BFA, '03), an artist/modeler at Disney Research, Pittsburgh,
accepts a plaque from Quasi, the robotic character created by Interbots, on behalf of WALL-E, the namesake of the 2008 Disney/Pixar movie. The animated character of WALL-E was inducted in the Entertainment category of the Robot
Hall of Fame for 2012. At the close of the induction ceremony, the audience applauded the Robot Hall of Fame Committee as they assembled onstage: David Ruppersberger, director of Joint Economic Development Initiatives at Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh; Patricia Rote, robotics industry program director at Carnegie Mellon; Kristopher Elder, a graduate student at Carnegie Mellon’s Heinz School, and Shirley J. Saldamarco, director of the Robot Hall of Fame and faculty member at Carnegie Mellon’s Entertainment Technology Center.