August 21, 2012
Public Asked To Vote For Their Favorite Robot
Michael Harper for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online
Let´s admit it, we all have a thing for robots. Whether we grew up watching Rosie take care of the Jetsons´ household or Bender engage in all manner of debauchery normally reserved for humans, robots have been a part of our pop culture and even everyday work lives. As such, it´s only fair to give them their due and honor them in an annual, vote-based popularity contest.
Enter the Robot Hall of Fame, a contest which is now in its ninth year. Previously, winning robots have been decided by a panel of judges. This year, however, these robots are ready to buff their shiny metal exteriors and trot out their best in order to gain your vote. This year´s inductees will be decided in part by the general, robot admiring public. 12 machined and robotic nominees will be chosen from four categories, including Education & Consumer, Entertainment, Industrial & Service, and Research.
"The technology and art of robotics are advancing at an increasingly rapid rate, and so the Robot Hall of Fame also must evolve," said Shirley Saldamarco, the hall of fame's director and a faculty member at Carnegie Mellon´s Entertainment Technology Center.
“As more students, workers and consumers become accustomed to robots, it seems like a natural step to give the public a voice in selecting inductees.”
Each of the 12 robotic finalists were nominated by 107 enthusiasts and industry leaders who know a thing or two about a good robot.
By visiting the online polls, members of the humanoid public can vote for one of three robots in each category by visiting RobotHallofFame.org between today and September 30, when the polls will officially dim to a close.
Though the public have their say, the final results will be decided on a half-and-half basis, meaning the expert panel of judges will also have their opinions heavily weighed in the matter.
When the final poll has been taken and the final vote cast, the winning bots will be inducted into the Robot Hall of Fame during an October ceremony at the Carnegie Science Center in Pittsburgh, PA. This circuited ceremony will take place in conjunction with the RoboBusiness Leadership Summit, an opportunity for other robots to trot out their capabilities and functions.
Says the Summit chairman Dan Kara, "We love robots, and we love to see their inventors and creators get the public recognition they deserve.”
Robots who have made this year´s cut include: Aldebaran Robotics´ NAO, iRobot´s PackBot, Boston Dynamic´s Big Dog and, easily a crowd favorite, WALL-E.
These relative new comers won´t be the only bots to receive some much due adulation. The October induction ceremony will also be a time to honor the 2010 class of Hal of Fame robots, including a pair of NASA rovers, (Spirit and Opportunity) as well as those sucking robots, the iRobot Roomba vacuum cleaner. Arnold Schwarzenegger´s robotic character, T-800, will also be recognized during this year´s induction ceremony. Tickets are now on sale for this night amongst the stars, and start at $99.
Voting for your favorite robot is easy and takes only a moment of your time.
A notable absence on the list is the most recent media darling, NASA´s Curiosity rover, though you´ll be able to nominate this robot for the people´s choice awards. Might you also consider nominating another new comer, Curiosity´s slightly perturbed and 100% false SarcasticRover? With your vote, we can all do a science, together!