Have you ever wondered exactly how many robots we have these days between Roombas and Aibos and whatever other bots we have in our homes? Well one person’s not only wondered about it, they’re determined to find out with the first census meant exclusively for robots.
Heather Knight is a doctoral student at Carnegie Mellon University studying robotics. She also runs, in this week’s best Futurama reference, Marilyn Monrobot Labs in NYC where she works on projects involving robot arts performances.
Heather initially started the project as a way to get a full list of exactly how many robots there were on the Carnegie Mellon campus as well as information on their ages, functions, and other qualities in order to better support the robots around campus. In her words, “With no full accounting available of CMU robots – much less a list of the coolest robots with the wackiest names — the obvious next step was a census.”
Though she initially expected to find somewhere in the neighbourhood of 100 robots around campus the census has already found over 500 at Carnegie Mellon alone and the project is now expanding nationwide. If you want to help the robot census out by informing them of any androids living under your roof you can either print out a paper census form or direct your robots to fill out their own online census form. You can also follow the project’s progress on twitter by following @robotcensus.