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film criticism by maryann johanson | since 1997

question of the day: Which fictional robots belong in the Robot Hall of Fame?

Rosie Jetsons

I had no idea there was an actual Robot Hall of Fame. Did you? From CNN:

Created in 2003 at Carnegie Mellon University, the Robot Hall of Fame recognizes excellence in robotics technology, both real and fictional. So far, the hall has honored 21 robots, including such robo-stalwarts as NASA’s Mars Sojourner, Honda’s ASIMO and R2-D2 and C-3PO from “Star Wars.”

This year, the public gets to vote on who’s inducted.

Members of the Robot Hall of Fame are showcased in “Roboworld,” a $3.5 million exhibit at the Carnegie Science Center in Pittsburgh. The center calls it “the world’s largest and most comprehensive permanent robotics exhibition.”

Visitors to the museum’s website may vote for one of three nominees in each of four categories. The categories, and nominees, are:


• WALL-E, the garbage-collector robot who’s the hero of Pixar’s 2008 animated sci-fi film of the same name;

• Johnny 5, a prototype military robot that learns to embrace life in the 1986 science-fiction comedy “Short Circuit”;

• Rosie, a maid robot with motherly qualities that took care of a human family on “The Jetsons,” a Hanna-Barbera animated sitcom first broadcast on ABC in 1962.

I’ve listed only the nominees in the Entertainment category, because that’s the one that concerns us. You can see the current inductees at The Robot Hall of Fame.
So: Which fictional robots belong in the Robot Hall of Fame? Feel free to comment on the actual nominees and inductees as well as in a larger, more hypothetical sense: Which are the fictional robots that have most impacted entertainment, as well as our ideas about what robots can and should do?

(If you have a suggestion for a QOTD, feel free to email me. Responses to this QOTD sent by email will be ignored; please post your responses here.)

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