The Bujold Nexus

Bujold robot at WTC

Date: Sat, 6 Oct 2001 11:38:51 -0500
From: "Lois McMaster Bujold"
To: Bujold Chat Group" <>
Subject: Fw: Bujold robot at WTC

Hi all --

    Writers get these extraordinary letters from time to time -- Dr. Murphy
gave me permission to share this one.

    Some of you may recall "Robot Bujold" from a few years back.  I dimly
recall we had a link from the Bujold Nexus for a while, though I can't seem
to find it at the moment.  To sum up, Dr. Murphy is a roboticist now at the
U. of South Florida, who has been working on robots for search and rescue.
She has named a number of her prototypes after women science fiction
writers, including me and Connie Willis.  "Robot Bujold" was an early
marsupial robot design, which rode and was deployed from a larger robot in
order to enter search areas.

    More current information on the topic is on the webpage

    Ta, Lois.

----- Original Message -----
From: "Robin Murphy (CS)"
To: "Lois McMaster Bujold"
Sent: Friday, October 05, 2001 9:04 PM
Subject: Bujold 

> Lois:
> I'm the roboticist who named a robot after you...
> I hope all is well, and I thoroughly enjoyed the
> Curse of Chalion. Which I finished right before
> Sept. 11.
> So... I was up at the WTC with Bujold and five
> other robots and 3 grad students as part of the
> Center for Robot-Assisted Search and Rescue. We
> made the NY Times, Today, and CNN, so you might have
> seen us. It turned out that Bujold and her
> younger siblings were the most valuable of the
> robots. We found at least 5 victims (no live saves)
> and, well, remains. Plus we helped the rescue
> workers decide what was safe and unsafe to pursue.
> A start. Small, but now, finally, funding will
> be available for USAR.
> Bujold got packed onto the rubble pile once but
> wasn't used. She wound up sacrificing her tracks
> and headlights for a robot that went in and
> found 4 victims. The younger robots had more
> features, so Bujold was always a backup. But a
> very proud, solid backup. So we were proud of
> her.
> My team was up there by 9/12 and stayed for
> 11 days. I was nominally second in command, with
> a newly retired LTC as director. A couple of times
> I started to say, "consider them as Betans," to
> try to help him manage the four teams of robot-geeks,
> some of whom had clearly never left the lab before.
> I thought of Miles as I got to hastily write up
> safety procedures for the less fieldable guys
> on about a hour's worth of sleep. And I almost
> always thought of Cordelia.
> Anyway, the parallels were endless. And it made
> the experience more amusing? tolerable? digestable?
> by having watched such believable characters as
> the Vorkosigans deal with crisis and adversity.
> Thanks very much for your books,
> Robin
> **************************************************
> + Dr. Robin R. Murphy, Associate Professor       +
> + Computer Science and Engineering               +
> + University of South Florida, Tampa FL 33620    +
> + (813)974-4756  +
> **************************************************

© 2001 by Robin Murphy and Lois McMaster Bujold
Added to The Bujold Nexus: November 20th 2001

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