Robot Hall of Fame

A replica of a gold-plated feminine robot.
Replica of the Metropolis character Maria on display at the Carnegie Science Center

The Robot Hall of Fame is an American hall of fame that recognizes notable robots in various scientific fields and general society, as well as achievements in robotics technology. The organization was established in 2003 by the School of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, as an acknowledgement of Pittsburgh's achievements in the field of robotics and with the aim of creating a broader awareness of the contributions of robotics in society.[1] The idea for the Robot Hall of Fame was conceived by Carnegie Mellon School of Computer Science dean James H. Morris, who described it as a means of "honor[ing] robots that have served an actual or potentially useful function and demonstrated real skill, along with robots that entertain and those that have achieved worldwide fame in the context of fiction."[1] The first induction ceremony was held at the Carnegie Science Center on November 10, 2003.[2] Thirty robots – both real and fictional – have been inducted into the Robot Hall of Fame since its inception.[3] An exhibit named Roboworld was later established at the Carnegie Science Center in June 2009, featuring a physical embodiment of the hall of fame.[4]

From 2003 to 2010, inductees to the Robot Hall of Fame were chosen by a selected panel of jurists.[5] The opportunity to nominate a robot for induction into the hall of fame was also made open to the public; nominators were required to submit a one-paragraph rationale explaining their selection.[1] The voting process was altered significantly in 2012, with nominations instead being gathered from a survey of 107 authorities on robotics and divided into four categories: Education & Consumer, Entertainment, Industrial & Service, and Research.[5] Through an online voting system, members of the public were allowed to vote for one nominee per category; only the top three nominees in each category, based on the results of the aforementioned robotics experts survey, are included on the ballot.[6][7] Officials subsequently derived the final list of inductees from both the survey and the public vote.[5] Robot Hall of Fame director Shirley Saldamarco said of the changes:

The technology and art of robotics are advancing at an increasingly rapid rate and so the Robot Hall of Fame also must evolve. 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.[8]

No robots have been inducted into the Robot Hall of Fame since 2012.


A red camera eye.
HAL 9000, inducted in 2003
A white-bodied robot with a black face plate walks.
ASIMO, inducted in 2004
A robotic rover rests on a blue floor, while several scientists wearing white bodysuits observe it.
Opportunity, inducted in 2010
A grey military robot on a staircase.
PackBot, inducted in 2012
List of robots in the Robot Hall of Fame
Year Name Description Creator Category Ref.
2003 HAL 9000 Character from the film 2001: A Space Odyssey Arthur C. Clarke Entertainment [9]
2003 R2-D2 Character from the Star Wars franchise George Lucas Entertainment [10]
2003 Sojourner Mars exploration rover NASA Research [11]
2003 Unimate First industrial robot George Devol, Joseph Engelberger Industrial & Service [12]
2004 ASIMO Multi-functional humanoid robot Honda Research [13]
2004 Astro Boy Character from the Astro Boy franchise Osamu Tezuka Entertainment [14]
2004 C-3PO Character from the Star Wars franchise George Lucas Entertainment [15]
2004 Robby the Robot Character from the film Forbidden Planet Cyril Hume Entertainment [16]
2004 Shakey First general-purpose mobile robot to be able to reason its own actions SRI International Research [17]
2006 AIBO Robotic pet Sony Education & Consumer [18]
2006 David Character from the film A.I. Artificial Intelligence Brian Aldiss Entertainment [19]
2006 Gort Character from the film The Day the Earth Stood Still Edmund H. North Entertainment [20]
2006 Maria Character from the film Metropolis; cited as the first robot to be depicted in cinema Thea von Harbou, Fritz Lang Entertainment [21]
2006 SCARA Four-axis industrial robot arm University of Yamanashi Industrial & Service [22]
2008 Lt. Cmdr. Data Character from the Star Trek franchise Gene Roddenberry Entertainment [23]
2008 Lego Mindstorms Robot toy kit series Lego Education & Consumer [24]
2008 Navlab 5 Autonomous robotic vehicle Carnegie Mellon School of Computer Science Research [25]
2008 Raibert Hopper First self-balancing hopping robot Marc Raibert Research [26]
2010 da Vinci Surgical System Robotic surgical system Intuitive Surgical Industrial & Service [27]
2010 Dewey Characters from the film Silent Running Steven Bochco, Michael Cimino, Deric Washburn Entertainment [27]
2010 Huey
2010 Louie
2010 Opportunity Mars exploration rover NASA Research [27]
2010 Roomba Autonomous robotic vacuum cleaner iRobot Education & Consumer [27]
2010 Spirit Mars exploration rover NASA Research [27]
2010 Terminator T-800 Character from the Terminator franchise James Cameron, Gale Anne Hurd Entertainment [27]
2012 BigDog Quadrupedal military robot Boston Dynamics, Foster-Miller, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Harvard University Concord Field Station Research [28]
2012 Nao Autonomous humanoid robot Aldebaran Robotics Education & Consumer [28]
2012 PackBot Military robot iRobot Industrial & Service [28]
2012 WALL-E Character from the film WALL-E Andrew Stanton Entertainment [28]
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