This robot is “robby” in the sense that he steals stuff.
2nd place in Derby #200: The Silver Screen, with 831 votes!
Seriously, Robot Hall of Fame? You inducted R2-D2 and C-3PO before Robby got the nod? Your Gen-X-centricity is worse than Cooperstown’s Yankee bias.
Not to mention: You inducted HAL from 2001 as a member of your very first class? HAL isn’t even a robot! I’m sure it’s a total coincidence Arthur C. Clarke is a member of your jury. (What’s he doing listed there anyway? He’s been dead for over three years.)
Then you inducted Lego Mindstorms NXT in your “real robots” category in 2007/08. That kit only came out in late 2006! Already it’s got Hall-of-Fame status? Honestly? Please tell me LEGO didn’t cut a check to your endowment at about the same time.
I get it, the Robot Hall is a Carnegie Mellon endeavor, and it’s tough out there for colleges, and you have to find ways to promote the “brand.” But academics have to be careful how they pull off their publicity stunts, because the cheesy stench of salesmanship stinks worst where the air is rarefied.
The year I graduated from college, my school got moved into a different, more competitive category in U.S. NEWS & WORLD REPORT’s “Best Colleges” ranking. It had topped its previous division, but finished somewhere in the middle-bottom of the new one. In an act of transparent pandering, they invited a U.S. NEWS & WORLD REPORT editor to that year’s graduation ceremony, to receive an honorary degree and give the commencement address. It didn’t work. That was 15 years ago, and I don’t think my alma mater has cracked the top 50 “National Liberal Arts Colleges” since.
But I remember that shameless stunt whenever I hear of a graduation ceremony where the speaker is Elie Wiesel, or Nicholas Kristof, or Conan O’Brien, and think “boy, did we ever draw the short straw.”
So I’m watching you, Robot Hall of Fame—watching you with the unblinking scrutiny of a Dalek’s intent eyestalk.
Inducting iRobot’s Roomba (2009) was a step in the right direction, at least. Those things change lives.
Wear this shirt: to one of New York’s finest comic-book shops. We’ll let you guess which one might be most appropriate.
Don’t wear this shirt: while giving yourself an oil job.
This shirt tells the world: “The only ‘Forbidden Planet’ I know is Omega 3, where all the Star Trek tapes were sent. Futurama season four, episode 65.”
We call this color: Good Navy Blues, Everyone!
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