Carnegie Mellon University
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Robotics Lexicon Project (Robolex)
This project is no longer active.
Head: Illah Nourbakhsh
Contact: Salvatore Desiano
Mailing address:
Carnegie Mellon University
Robotics Institute
5000 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213
Associated lab(s) / group(s):
 CREATE: Community Robotics, Education and Technology Empowerment
Scientists are plagued with a problem: they keep inventing new things. Worse yet, existing terminology is unable to describe their inventions.

The standard solution, therefore, is to invent a new term for every new invention. Without proper care, however, a language can grow without bounds until it contains terms that are redundant, inconsistant, misused, and repetitive. This can be called The Humpty Dumpty Problem:

"When I use a word," Humpty Dumpty said in a rather a scornful tone, "it means just what I choose it to mean -- neither more nor less." (Lewis Carroll, Through the Looking Glass)

Robotics, since it is such a young discipline, does not have a strong framework to prevent this from happening. The goal of this project is to create a living lexicon: one that contains not only the correct definitions of a term, but also common misuses, references to that term in published work, information on the derivation of the term, and other useful information.

The hope is that an online lexicon will, with the input of its users and the robotics community, grow to become a useful and time-saving resource for the community which it serves.