Science Beats Fiction in Robot Hall of Fame

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Carnegie Mellon University named this year’s inductees to its Robot Hall of Fame – and for the first time, most of the honorees are working robots – actual machines.

* Lt. Cmdr. Data, who explored right to life and human/machine philosophies on TV’s “Star Trek: The Next Generation.”  

* Raibert Hopper, developed in the 1980s, that could move with agility, rather than the plodding gait of earlier walking robots. This one-legged device kept hopping, to stay upright.

* NavLab 5, a minivan enhanced with computers and video sensors at CMU that drove itself cross-country in 1995. The “No Hands Across America” experiment was the longest road trip to date by an autonomous vehicle.

* Lego Mindstorms, programmable building bricks with electric motors, sensors and structural parts, all in a building kit that is as much fun for grownups as for kids.

…Very good choices – do you agree?

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