Story Tools: PRINT | Text Size: S M L XL | REPORT TYPO | SEND YOUR FEEDBACK

Star Trek's Data joins Robot Hall of Fame

by Paul Jay, CBC News Online

Real-life robots outnumbered their science fiction counterparts for the first time among the inductees to Carnegie Mellon University's Robot Hall of Fame, announced on Tuesday.

Star Trek's Lt. Cmdr. Data was the lone fictional robot among four inductees announced at the fourth annual RoboBusiness Conference and Exposition in Boston this week.

Joining "him" in the hall of fame were:

  • Raibert Hopper, a one-legged hopping robot build in the early '80s that helped roboticists incorporate the idea that, like humans, robots needed motion for stability;
  • NavLab5, one of a series of autonomous vehicles that could steer itself at legal speeds on everyday roads and in 1995 completed a cross-country tour of U.S. in which it did 98 per cent of the driving;
  • LEGO Mindstorms, a building set that brought creative robotics to the masses.

The character of Data, played by actor Brent Spiner on the sci-fi television series Star Trek: The Next Generation, received mention for his contribution to the questions of robot ethics and human/machine philosophies.

Juror Anne Balsemo, the managing director of the Institute for Multimedia Literacy at the University of Southern California, singled out the episode The Measure of a Man, in which the character is put on trial to determine whether he has the right to refuse to submit to a procedure that would disassemble him.

It was fine television, and especially timely now that robot ethics has taken off. Data's inclusion, however, also offers further proof that Trekkies can be found in every major scientific institution in the United States.

« Previous Post | Main | Next Post »

This discussion is now Open. Submit your Comment.

Comments

Al Richards

Bravo for Data. My wife and I really enjoyed watching The Next Generation series from the late 80s until it ended in 1994. It was excellent TV, and as a loyal original Star Trek fan, I immediately fell for TNG. Data was one of my favoutite characters, likely because I quite enjoyed Mr. Spock on the original series. Trekkies really are everywhere...

Posted May 18, 2007 12:29 AM

Steve

Tronna

Where's Astro Boy? He's another great fictional robot.

He has poignant beginnings, being inspired by the death of the designer's son and his incisive suggestion that creating a "boy robot" would somehow circumvent all the normal difficulties or building a working robot. Astro Boy is way better than Data.

Posted May 18, 2007 10:23 AM

Michael

Winnipeg

What about Robin William's Robot movie? That really went down to the corp of how human robots can become. It questioned if robots don't die, do they have the same rights as humans? Robin William's acting as a robot is one of the best films I've seen on this subject.

Posted May 19, 2007 11:46 AM

Ben

Kiev

The astroboy comment is interesting. Astroboy was one of the first fictional TV robots with human emotions and gave rise to interesting ethical dilemmas concerning his origins and how to coexist with humans and their prejudices. Data is certainly the superior robot though.

Posted May 19, 2007 04:18 PM

Mike Millington

I don't know about AstroBoy being "better" than Data, but he was certainly interesting nonetheless. I loved Data because he was so childlike; a quality we all tend to lose as adults.

Posted May 21, 2007 11:29 AM

Nadine MacDonald

I think the sentiment is admirable, but as a stickler (not to mention an avid Star Trek TNG fan!), I would like to point out that Lt. Cmdr. Data was an android, not a robot. This is something that was addressed numerous times on the show.

Posted May 22, 2007 03:18 PM

Mark Millington

Data was such a fine character. He was a huge asset to TNG series.

I did like Robbie the robot from the Forbidden Planet movie, and of course, The Lost in Space, Model B-9 Environmental-Control Robot, which had no given name.

Posted August 3, 2007 09:48 PM

Womble

London

You all seem to forget that Data is or was, NOT a robot, but android! Which is a robot or 'AI' designed in the perfect image of a humanoid both in appearance & behaviour. To perform ALL that a human can, or even better if we look at Data obviously. No wonder Brent Spiner refused to be honoured the 'Robot Of The Year' this year, not only for not even being an android, let's not confuse that either...

Posted March 10, 2008 01:14 PM

« Previous Post | Main | Next Post »

Post a Comment

Disclaimer:

Note: By submitting your comments you acknowledge that CBC has the right to reproduce, broadcast and publicize those comments or any part thereof in any manner whatsoever. Please note that due to the volume of e-mails we receive, not all comments will be published, and those that are published will not be edited. But all will be carefully read, considered and appreciated.

Note: Due to volume there will be a delay before your comment is processed. Your comment will go through even if you leave this page immediately afterwards.

Privacy Policy | Submissions Policy

Story Tools: PRINT | Text Size: S M L XL | REPORT TYPO | SEND YOUR FEEDBACK

World »

Maria the worst hurricane to hit Puerto Rico in 80 years video
The strongest hurricane to hit Puerto Rico in over 80 years tore off roofs and doors, knocked out power across the entire island and unleashed heavy flooding, with forecasters warning people in the Dominican Republic to prepare as the storm moves closer.
Mexico earthquake: Huge volunteer effort to rescue people trapped in collapsed buildings video audio
Desperate rescue workers scrabbled through rubble in a search for children feared buried beneath a Mexico City school, one of the buildings destroyed by the country's most lethal earthquake in a generation.
CBC IN MEXICO Parents consult lists of the living and the dead after earthquake destroys school in Mexico City
"Brutal" day continues as rescuers dig and listen for youngsters trapped in collapsed school in Mexico City.
more »

Canada »

Body found near Arundel, Que., ends police search for missing man in Amber Alert case
Quebec provincial police have found a body in a wooded area near the town of Arundel, 20 kilometres south of Mont-Tremblant, where they've been searching for 71-year-old Yvon Lacasse, who was last seen Sept. 14.
Canadians are confused about science vs. opinion, poll suggests
Are scientific findings a matter of opinion? Forty-three per cent of Canadians say they agree that they are, accoprding to a new poll whose results are being described as “worrisome.”
Canada running to keep up with fast-moving developments in self-driving car technology video
Calling it a disruptive technology with huge potential, Canada's transport minister says when it comes to self-driving cars Canada is doing its best to try and keep up with the pace of innovation.
more »

Politics »

Lynn Beyak removed from all Senate committees
Sen. Lynn Beyak has been removed from all Senate committees, a week after a series of controversial remarks about First Nations people came to light.
Analysis Jagmeet Singh's unique bid to inherit the aura of Jack Layton and Tommy Douglas video
If the NDP should be aiming to be interesting again, leadedship contender Jagmeet Singh is at least that.
New Niki Ashton, Jagmeet Singh at odds over domestic abuse allegations in Manitoba NDP video
NDP leadership candidates Niki Ashton and Jagmeet Singh have been ensnared by a controversy over accusations of domestic violence against the new leader of the provincial party in Manitoba.
more »

Health »

Sorry - we can't find that page
 
CBC.ca

Sorry, we can't find the page you requested.

  1. Please check the URL in the address bar, or ...
  2. Use the navigation links at left to explore our site, or ...
  3. Enter a term in the Quick Search box at top, or ...
  4. Visit our site map page

In a few moments, you will be taken to our site map page, which will help you find what you looking for.

more »

Arts & Entertainment»

'This was not ok:' Alvvays singer dodges kiss after fan jumps onstage
Alvvways frontwoman Molly Rankin was left stunned during a recent show when a male fan bolted onto the stage and attempted to kiss her.
As It Happens Artist of $18K bullet-riddled Bieber painting stolen at TIFF says thief called to confess
Toronto artist Viktor Mitic says he was contacted by the thief who stole his bullet-riddled portrait of Justin Bieber from a Toronto gallery, supposedly on a drunken dare.
She'll be back: Linda Hamilton returning to Terminator franchise
Linda Hamilton is returning to the Terminator franchise for the first time since 1991's Terminator 2: Judgment Day.
more »

Technology & Science »

Mexico earthquake: soft soil makes capital shake like it was 'built on jelly'
The soft soil that lines the ancient lake bed that Mexico City is built on amplified the shaking from Tuesday's earthquake and increased its destructive force, seismologists say.
Canadians are confused about science vs. opinion, poll suggests
Are scientific findings a matter of opinion? Forty-three per cent of Canadians say they agree that they are, accoprding to a new poll whose results are being described as “worrisome.”
Scientists want to sail the seas of Titan
Saturn's moon Titan has oceans made of methane. What would it be like to explore them, and how would we do it? CBC's Bob McDonald looks into the possibilities.
more »

Money »

Canada running to keep up with fast-moving developments in self-driving car technology video
Calling it a disruptive technology with huge potential, Canada's transport minister says when it comes to self-driving cars Canada is doing its best to try and keep up with the pace of innovation.
Bombardier looking beyond Tuesday's duty decision as workers rally in Toronto
Even as scores of Bombardier workers in Toronto rallied in support of the company's battle with Boeing, the Montreal transportation company said it's looking beyond next week's U.S. Department of Commerce decision about preliminary duties against its CSeries aircraft.
Magna International suspends supply of parts to CAMI
Autoparts maker Magna International announced Wednesday that it has suspended the supply of parts to CAMI, the Ingersoll auto manufacturing plant that's been crippled by a labour dispute.
more »

Consumer Life »

Sorry - we can't find that page
 
CBC.ca

Sorry, we can't find the page you requested.

  1. Please check the URL in the address bar, or ...
  2. Use the navigation links at left to explore our site, or ...
  3. Enter a term in the Quick Search box at top, or ...
  4. Visit our site map page

In a few moments, you will be taken to our site map page, which will help you find what you looking for.

more »

Sports »

[an error occurred while processing this directive]
Leafs' Lupul apologizes for 'inappropriate response' to online comments
Joffrey Lupul apologized Wednesday evening for calling the Toronto Maple Leafs "cheaters" in a since-deleted Instagram comment.
Bauer claims new collar helps prevent brain damage
Sports equipment maker Bauer has unveiled a collar-like device it says can protect against microscopic brain damage in athletes playing contact sports like hockey, soccer and football.
Marco Estrada forgoes free agency to remain a Blue Jay
The Toronto Blue Jays announced Wednesday afternoon through a news release that they have signed 34-year-old starting pitcher Marco Estrada to a one-year extension worth $13 million US. Estrada has won two of his three starts this month with a 1.80 ERA.
more »

Diversions »

[an error occurred while processing this directive]
more »