Robot Hall of Fame 2012 Voting and Tip Sheet

Need help voting for the 2012 inductees? We'll give you the pros and cons of each bot up for the honor

2 min read
Robot Hall of Fame 2012 Voting and Tip Sheet

Carnegie Mellon's Robot Hall of Fame (that's RHoF for you neobots) will be inducting four brand new robots this October, and you get to help choose which ones are worthy. We have the whole lineup for you, along with insightful expert commentary on each from us here at IEEE Spectrum to help aid you in your decision-making process.

Education & Consumer

iRobot Create

Pros: It's a robot that you can make into a better robot!
Cons: Why didn't they just make it a better robot to begin with?


Pros: Can play soccer.
Cons: Is terrible at soccer.

VEX Robotics Design System

Pros: Motto of VEX: "Think. Create. Build. Amaze."
Cons: Definition of VEX: "Irritate. Annoy. Provoke. Torment."



Cons: NONE!!!


Pros: Recognized and appreciated by an older demographic.
Cons: Recognized and appreciated by an older demographic.

Johnny 5

Pros: An actual robot!
Cons: Not as awesome as WALL-E.

Industrial & Service

iRobot Packbot

Pros: Uh, it saves people's lives?
Cons: If the Create wins, there'd be two inductees from iRobot, and we can't very well have that.


Pros: Unlike most robots, it's exceptionally water-resistant.
Cons: I get seasick.


Pros: Bribing the judges should be noooo problem.
Cons: What, having Amazon buy your company for $775 million isn't enough and you need to win this too?



Pros: Have you seen this thing running around? I mean, seriously, come on now.
Cons: They haven't given it a saddle.


Pros: Can do, you know, like, whatever you want, man.
Cons: Is only marginally faster than I am at folding laundry.


Pros: It's in space! How cool is that!
Cons: Will be unable to attend induction ceremony.

Get your vote on right here!

Via [ Robot Hall of Fame ]

The Conversation (0)

The Bionic-Hand Arms Race

The prosthetics industry is too focused on high-tech limbs that are complicated, costly, and often impractical

12 min read
A photograph of a young woman with brown eyes and neck length hair dyed rose gold sits at a white table. In one hand she holds a carbon fiber robotic arm and hand. Her other arm ends near her elbow. Her short sleeve shirt has a pattern on it of illustrated hands.

The author, Britt Young, holding her Ottobock bebionic bionic arm.

Gabriela Hasbun. Makeup: Maria Nguyen for MAC cosmetics; Hair: Joan Laqui for Living Proof

In Jules Verne’s 1865 novel From the Earth to the Moon, members of the fictitious Baltimore Gun Club, all disabled Civil War veterans, restlessly search for a new enemy to conquer. They had spent the war innovating new, deadlier weaponry. By the war’s end, with “not quite one arm between four persons, and exactly two legs between six,” these self-taught amputee-weaponsmiths decide to repurpose their skills toward a new projectile: a rocket ship.

The story of the Baltimore Gun Club propelling themselves to the moon is about the extraordinary masculine power of the veteran, who doesn’t simply “overcome” his disability; he derives power and ambition from it. Their “crutches, wooden legs, artificial arms, steel hooks, caoutchouc [rubber] jaws, silver craniums [and] platinum noses” don’t play leading roles in their personalities—they are merely tools on their bodies. These piecemeal men are unlikely crusaders of invention with an even more unlikely mission. And yet who better to design the next great leap in technology than men remade by technology themselves?

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