Minerva is a talking robot designed to accommodate people in public spaces. She perceives her environment through her sensors (cameras, laser range finders, ultrasonic sensors), and decides what to do using her computers. Minerva actively approaches people, offers tours, and then leads them from exhibit to exhibit.
The goal of the Minerva project is to bring robots closer to people. Recent progress in robotics and artificial intelligence has made it possible to build interactive mobile robots that operate highly reliably in crowded environments. In the next decade, robots like Minerva are expected to become part of many people's lives, where they will assist them in their everyday activities, perform janitorial services, or simply entertain them. This project is carried out jointly by Carnegie Mellon University's Robot Learning Laboratory and the University of Bonn's Computer Science Department III, and sponsored by the Lemelson Center at the National Museum of American History.