How a giant box on wheels sparked the robotic revolution
“Shakey” the Robot
“It was the first mobile, intelligent robot,” said Peter Hart, who worked on Shakey from the start of the project.
“Shakey” was the first mobile robot with the ability to perceive and reason about its surroundings.
Why Was It Named “Shakey”?
Charles Rosen, head of the SRI AI group, recalled:
“We worked for a month trying to find a good name for it, ranging from Greek names to whatnot, and then one of us said, ‘Hey, it shakes like hell and moves around, let’s just call it Shakey.’”
A giant box set on wheels.
Shakey is equipped with a TV camera, an antenna radio link, detectors and bumpers to visually interpret its environment and figure out how to complete a task given by a user.
This is done by locating
Shakey could perform tasks that required planning, route-finding, and the rearranging of simple objects. The robot greatly influenced modern robotics and AI techniques; today, it resides in the Computer History Museum.
After forging a new frontier in AI and robotics, Shakey was retired from duty and now calls the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, California, home.
Shakey was also deservedly inducted into Carnegie Mellon University’s Robot Hall of Fame in 2004 and has been honored with a prestigious IEEE Milestone in Electrical Engineering and Computing.
Since 1966 the Shakey project has been cited in over 2,115 U.S. patents and nearly 5,000 research papers.
At the ceremony, Nilsson complained that our modern-day robots still haven’t integrated enough A.I. “Today’s robots can wander around well the two-legged ones can stand up.
They have good control systems but they don’t know what they’re doing.”
But the founder of the company behind that Silicon Valley delivery robot pointed out that real-world robots face unexpected obstacles — and seems wistful about the early days when robots rolled in an innocent laboratory environment.
“We put robots in hotels, where you have drunk people. That is another obstacle you have to deal with.
“We made the robot cute, so even drunk guys, when they knock it over, usually pick it up,” Hart said.
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