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 »

Canada on alert as U.S. announces end to temporary resident status for Haitians video
A decision by the Trump administration to end a temporary residency permit program that has allowed almost 60,000 Haitians to live and work in the United States has the Canadian
Rohingya subjected to 'dehumanizing apartheid': Amnesty International
Myanmar has subjected Rohingya Muslims to long-term discrimination and persecution that amounts to "dehumanizing apartheid," Amnesty International said Tuesday in a report that raises questions about what those who have fled a violent military crackdown would face if they returned home.
Putin, Assad agree on changing focus to finding political solutions in Syria
Russian President Vladimir Putin hosted Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad for talks at which the two men agreed that the focus in the Syrian conflict was now switching from military operations to the search for a political solution.
more »

Canada »

Winter 2018 will be colder than last year, but forecasters split on how bad it will get
Canadian weather forecasters are split over what kind of winter we can expect in 2018 - and how much of a role global warming has to play.
GO PUBLIC Bell insider reveals high-pressure sales tactics required on every single call
A longtime Bell call centre employee says she is pressured to make a sale on every call, often talking customers into products they don't understand, don't need, and sometimes can't afford
Former navy lieutenant 'very relieved' LGBT apology is coming
Frank Létourneau was forced out of the navy because he is gay. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau tweeted Sunday that he would formally apologize on Nov. 28.
more »

Politics »

Australian official lashes out at Trudeau amid spat over Pacific trade deal video
A spat between Canada and Australia is heating up as Australian officials signal they will block Canada's admission to Asia's premier security forum, the East Asia Summit, amid tensions over the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal.
15,000 on Canada's deportation list, but some 'unco-operative' countries won't take their citizens back
More than 15,000 foreign nationals are subject to removal orders from Canada, but some of them can't be deported because their home countries won't take them back.
Canada on alert as U.S. announces end to temporary resident status for Haitians video
A decision by the Trump administration to end a temporary residency permit program that has allowed almost 60,000 Haitians to live and work in the United States has the Canadian
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»

Michael Redhill, Bellevue Square author, wins Giller Book Prize audio
Michael Redhill has won the Giller Prize, Canada's richest literary award, for his novel Bellevue Square.
CBS suspends Charlie Rose, PBS halts show amid sexual misconduct allegations
PBS says it is immediately halting distribution of Charlie Rose's interview program and CBS News suspended him following the Washington Post's report of eight women who accused the veteran newsman of multiple unwanted sexual advances and inappropriate behaviour.
Della Reese, singer and Touched by an Angel actress, dead at 86
Della Reese, the actress and gospel-influenced singer who in middle age found her greatest fame as Tess, the wise angel in the long-running television drama Touched by an Angel, has died at age 86.
more »

Technology & Science »

Streaks on Mars likely flowing sand, not water, new research suggests
​A new study suggests that dark streaks on Mars are signs of flowing sand — not water.
Astronomers unveil secrets of interstellar visitor
Astronomers say they've learned more about the first known object to enter our solar system from deep space, including its size and colour.
20 Canadian ideas to improve child health win support from Grand Challenges
Twenty Canadian projects have won Grand Challenges funding, among them an Uber-like connection that can help get pregnant women in Kenya to health care; a 3D printer project to provide orthotic devices for Nepali children with clubfoot and scoliosis; and a microchip that can figure out what pathogen is causing diarrhea in children in Bangladesh.
more »

Money »

Loblaws pitches upgraded loyalty program for $9.99 a month for premium perks
Loblaws is launching a fee-based subscription program targeting its existing loyalty program members that sweetens the pot for them in terms of rewards — in exchange for a fee.
Nebraska OKs 'alternative route' for Keystone XL pipeline video
TransCanada Corp.'s Keystone XL pipeline won approval Monday from regulators in Nebraska, but state regulators did not OK the company's preferred route.
Bell Media confirms local radio and TV layoffs
Bell Media is laying off employees, including prominent on-air personalities, at radio and TV stations across Canada.
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]
Recap Johnny Hockey extends points streak to 10 in Flames' win over Capitals video
Johnny Gaudreau had a goal and an assist to extend his career-best point streak to 10 games and the Calgary Flames beat the Washington Capitals 4-1 on Monday night.
Video 'He Broke his Neck in Two Places!' | Rob's Dream Job, Ep.3 video
Rob has returned to real life after jet-setting to Helsinki last week. Now he's in the edit suite, getting down to business, and letting you know who may be the best healer heading to the Olympics.
Recap Wily Coyotes stymie Matthews, Leafs to snap Toronto's win streak at 6 video
Antti Raanta made 26 saves as the Arizona Coyotes halted the Toronto Maple Leafs' win streak at six games with a 4-1 victory on Monday.
more »

Diversions »

[an error occurred while processing this directive]
more »