- The public can vote on this year's inductees to the Robot Hall of Fame
- The hall, at Carnegie Mellon University, honors both real and fictional robots
- Previous inductees include NASA's Mars Sojourner, C-3PO and R2-D2
- Voting, at the hall's website, is open until September 30
Wall-E or Johnny 5? Or how about loyal "Jetsons" maid Rosie?
Which of those fictional robots deserves a space in the Robot Hall of Fame?
Or in the real world, how about the robots that troops use to dispose of bombs, or one that's made it all the way to the International Space Station?
For the first time, you get to help decide.
Created in 2003 at Carnegie Mellon University, the Robot Hall of Fame recognizes excellence in robotics technology, both real and fictional. So far, the hall has honored 21 robots, including such robo-stalwarts as NASA's Mars Sojourner, Honda's ASIMO and R2-D2 and C-3PO from "Star Wars."
This year, the public gets to vote on who's inducted.
"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'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."
Members of the Robot Hall of Fame are showcased in "Roboworld," a $3.5 million exhibit at the Carnegie Science Center in Pittsburgh. The center calls it "the world's largest and most comprehensive permanent robotics exhibition."
Visitors to the museum's website may vote for one of three nominees in each of four categories. The categories, and nominees, are:
Education & Consumer
• Aldebaran Robotics' NAO, a 22-inch-tall humanoid that is used worldwide in education;
• iRobot's Create, a programmable robot based on the company's popular robotic vacuum cleaner, Roomba;
• VEX Robotics Design System, a kit for designing and building robots that is widely used in the classroom and competitions.
• WALL-E, the garbage-collector robot who's the hero of Pixar's 2008 animated sci-fi film of the same name;
• Johnny 5, a prototype military robot that learns to embrace life in the 1986 science-fiction comedy "Short Circuit";
• Rosie, a maid robot with motherly qualities that took care of a human family on "The Jetsons," a Hanna-Barbera animated sitcom first broadcast on ABC in 1962.
Industrial & Service
• iRobot's PackBot, which performs bomb disposal and other dangerous assignments for the U.S. military;
• Amazon-owned Kiva System's autonomous warehouse robots, which speed the processing of customer orders;
• Jason, a remotely operated undersea vehicle designed and built by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, which has explored hydrothermal vents in the Pacific, Atlantic and Indian Oceans.
• BigDog, a four-legged robot the size of a small mule, which was developed by Boston Dynamics for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency to maneuver with heavy loads over rough terrain;
• PR2, a two-armed robot built by Willow Garage that can navigate human environments and has the dexterity to grasp and manipulate objects;
• Robonaut, a dexterous, two-armed robot developed by NASA's Johnson Space Center to help humans work in space; the latest version, Robonaut 2, was launched to the International Space Station in February 2011.
The robots nominated were selected by a group of 107 robotics professionals, researchers and others.
This year's four inductees will be decided half by public vote and half by the committee of voters. Winners will be announced October 23 at a ceremony at the Carnegie Science Center.
Public voting is open until September 30.