The Pantheon of Robots

If there were a hall of fame dedicated to robots, who would you induct?

I'm not just throwing out random questions here, like Captain Oveur from Airplane! There actually is a Robot Hall of Fame.

"The Robot 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. The Robot Hall of Fame was created by Carnegie Mellon University in April 2003 to call attention to the increasing contributions from robots to human society."

This year's inductees include the one-legged Raibert Hopper, the NavLab 5 self-steering vehicle, the LEGOR Mindstorms kit and Lieutenant Commander Data (via Daily Snopes).

Take a look at all the members here. Who's being overlooked? You can also nominate a robot. But if that's too much trouble, just tell us in the comments.

My short list of worthy inductees includes Rosie from The Jetsons, the girl from Small Wonder and the pitching machine from any batting cage.

A Very Brief History of Chamber Pots

Some of the oldest chamber pots found by archeologists have been discovered in ancient Greece, but portable toilets have come a long way since then. Whether referred to as "the Jordan" (possibly a reference to the river), "Oliver's Skull" (maybe a nod to Oliver Cromwell's perambulating cranium), or "the Looking Glass" (because doctors would examine urine for diagnosis), they were an essential fact of life in houses and on the road for centuries. In this video from the Wellcome Collection, Visitor Experience Assistant Rob Bidder discusses two 19th century chamber pots in the museum while offering a brief survey of the use of chamber pots in Britain (including why they were particularly useful in wartime).

A Tour of the New York Academy of Medicine's Rare Book Room

The Rare Book Room at the New York Academy of Medicine documents the evolution of our medical knowledge. Its books and artifacts are as bizarre as they are fascinating. Read more here.


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