Robot Hall of Fame – Roboworld

Carnegie Science Center provides the first look at experiences and exhibits in the
world’s largest robotics exhibition, opening June 13, 2009

PITTSBURGH, April 21, 2009 — Carnegie Science Center today revealed plans and exhibit details for roboworld™, the world’s largest and most comprehensive permanent robotics exhibition, opening June 13, 2009.

The $3.5 million exhibition will permanently occupy a 6,000 square-foot exhibit area on the second floor of the Science Center previously used for touring exhibitions and will feature several dozen hands-on, interactive exhibit stations focusing on the themes of robotic sensing, thinking, and acting.

“roboworld™ will showcase the latest in robotics technology — much of which has been developed in this region — and help visitors understand the tremendous impact robotics has on everyday life for each and every one of us,” said Ann Metzger, Co-Director of Carnegie Science Center. “For the past several years, we have been working with partners, both local and around the world, to shape and mold this exhibition into a comprehensive examination of robotics technology and the wide array of careers involved in this cutting-edge research and industry. We are excited to finally reveal the amazing and exciting exhibits and experiences that comprise the world-class, one-of-a-kind robotics exhibition that is roboworld™.”

“For more than 20 years, Carnegie Science Center has been providing robotics education for children in Pittsburgh,” said Ron Baillie, Co-Director of Carnegie Science Center. “From a wide variety of classes and camps to a touring robotics exhibition that has been experienced by more than 3.5 million people around the country, we have witnessed first-hand the significant role robotics can play in sparking students’ interest in science, technology, math, and engineering careers. roboworld™ will provide a gateway to these careers for students, resources for educators, and opportunities for parents to explore cutting-edge technology with their children in an innovative, hands-on way unlike anything currently available.”

The three robotic themes of thinking, sensing, and acting are explained in the exhibition through the use of innovative robots, video, hands-on exhibit stations, and artifacts, from a repurposed industrial arm that shoots basketballs to a wide variety of sensors commonly used in robotics with which visitors can interact. In addition to the several dozen hands-on exhibits, roboworld™ features two specialized areas allowing visitors to interact with robotics technology as it is being developed and to visit with some of the world’s most famous robots. Within the roboworld™ exhibition gallery is a dedicated Robot Workshop providing companies and roboticists the opportunity to test their latest innovations and for Science Center visitors to experience the latest in robotics technology and interact with scientists working in the field. This space will also serve as an area for visitors to create and test their own robots.

Robots have long had a presence in science fiction and popular culture, and roboworld™ will pay homage to their influence through a section of the exhibition dedicated to the Robot Hall of Fame®. Created in 2003 by the Carnegie Mellon University School of Computer Science, the Hall of Fame recognizes excellence in robotics technology worldwide and honors the fictional and real robots that have inspired and made breakthrough accomplishments in robotics. Each year a jury of scholars, researchers, writers, designers, and entrepreneurs select the real and fictional robots that will be honored by the Robot Hall of Fame®. Inductees have included Honda’s ASIMO humanoid robot, “Star Wars” robots R2-D2 and C-3PO, NASA’s Mars Sojourner, HAL 9000 from Arthur C. Clarke’s “2001: A Space Odyssey,” Gort from “The Day the Earth Stood Still,” and the Unimate manufacturing arm. roboworld™ provides the Hall of Fame a permanent home for these and other inductees. The Hall of Fame exhibits will be updated as new inductees are selected.

Carnegie Science Center has been a leader in developing robotics-oriented exhibitions and educational programming for more than 20 years. In 1986, the Science Center created Real, Live Robots, a six-week exhibition of cutting-edge robotic technology attracting nearly 100,000 visitors, the first such exhibition ever presented for public audiences in the U.S. Since then, the Science Center has offered an extensive slate of robotics classes and camps that now serve nearly 1,000 students annually in grades 2-8. The Science Center developed a major touring exhibition entitled Robotics in 1996; this exhibit has now visited more than 20 cities and has been experienced by more than 3.5 million people around the country.

The Science Center is enhancing existing robotics programs and developing new learning opportunities tied to roboworld™, including classes and outreach programs.

In addition to partnering to provide a permanent home for the Robot Hall of Fame®, Carnegie Mellon University’s Entertainment Technology Center and Robotics Institute are exhibition partners for the development of roboworld™, assisting in the planning and construction of several exhibit stations within the gallery. Representatives from high-tech companies 4moms, Aethon, Automatika, IBM, Integrated Industrial Technologies, Inc., and educational institutions California University of Pittsburgh, the University of Pittsburgh, and Robert Morris University have also participated in the development of roboworld™.

roboworld™ is made possible in part by $1 million leadership gifts from The Grable Foundation and The Bozzone Family Foundation.

Robotics is one of six areas of focus in Carnegie Science Center’s long range plan to enhance visitor experience and educational opportunities at the Science Center and showcase regional technology.

About Carnegie Science Center
Carnegie Science Center is dedicated to inspiring learning and curiosity by connecting science and technology with everyday life. By making science both relevant and fun, the Science Center’s goal is to increase science literacy in the region and motivate young people to seek careers in science and technology. One of the four Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh, the Science Center is Pittsburgh’s premier science exploration destination, reaching more than 700,000 people annually through its hands-on exhibits, camps, classes and off-site education programs.

About Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh
Founded by Andrew Carnegie in 1895, Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh is a collection of four distinctive museums dedicated to exploration through art and science: Carnegie Museum of Art, Carnegie Museum of Natural History, Carnegie Science Center, and The Andy Warhol Museum. In 2008, the museums reached more than one million people through exhibitions, educational programs, outreach activities, and special events.

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