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Shakey the Robot

“Shakey” was the first mobile robot with the ability to perceive and reason about its surroundings.

The subject of SRI’s Artificial Intelligence Center research from 1966 to 1972, 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.

The possibilities of computer science and artificial intelligence also caught the public’s imagination. After an April 10, 1968, article in The New York Times about Shakey and two other robot efforts (at MIT and Stanford University), Life magazine referred to Shakey as the “first electronic person” in 1970. In November 1970, National Geographic also carried a picture of Shakey in an article on the present uses and future possibilities of computers. Shakey was elected to the Carnegie Mellon’s Robot Hall of Fame in 2004.

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