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Shakey began in 1966 at the Stanford Research Institute (now SRI International).

Over years of research, this ungainly "bot" developed into a milestone application of artificial intelligence and robotics.

Shakey... so-called because of its jerky motion... was the first mobile robot that could claim to reason about its actions. The design was practical, not elegant... a box of electronics on wheels, with bump detectors at the base and a TV camera and triangulating range finder for a head.

As exhibited in the 1972 "Shakey" film produced by researchers Peter Hart and Nils Nilsson, Shakey was an intelligent robot. At first, it talked to large computers through a cable, and then through a wireless radio link.

Shakey had programs for seeing, reasoning, and acting. It even had limited language capability; commands could be typed into Shakey's computer in English, and it would type back a response.

Shakey's great accomplishment was that it could take general instructions that were not "step-by-step" and still figure out how to accomplish the objective.

In a typical demonstration, Shakey would receive instructions from a team member asking it to move blocks around a room. Shakey would make and execute plans to achieve the goal. Shakey was even able to adjust to surprises like an object in its path.

Shakey was a true pioneer in demonstrating the entire range of robot capabilities.

Shakey, we salute you on your induction into the Robot Hall of Fame!

Photo courtesy SRI International