CWmike writes: "The Smithsonian Museum of American History on Tuesday added a number of robotic technologies to its collection, including what may have been one of the smallest robots in the world. The robot known as Marv, short for Mini Autonomous Robot Vehicle, is just one cubic inch in size. It was developed in 1996 and 1997 at the Department of Energy's Sandia National Lab. Its footprint is not much larger than a penny, and it was cobbled together from commercially available parts, including a microprocessor, that moved on wheels. Marv is one of about 100 robotic artifacts in the collection, which includes a large collection of other technology-related artifacts. Barry Spletzer, a retired engineer and scientist at Sandia, worked on Marv, an effort that began 'almost on a whim.' The robots merit a place at the museum because there are more than 1 million industrial robots in use today, said Carlene Stephens, a curator. While most of those robots perform rudimentary tasks, the sheer number is evidence that 'robots are now among us,' she said. For More info on the institute's National Robotics Week plans, see the Lemelson Center site."
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