There’s still time to nominate local icons for Best of D.C.
There would come a day, the movies always said, when human needs would be served by shiny, efficient androids. Unfortunately, it looks as if that day has come and gone. In its latest newsletter, the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology tells of the end of the robot age: Last fall, officials from Walter Reed Army Hospital in Northwest donated a talking, R2-D2-sized robot named Emilie to the National Museum of Health and Medicine, which collects obsolete medical technologies. During the late ’90s, Emilie and a companion, Walter, roamed the hospital’s halls, carrying files and prescription drugs. By 2000, though, they required too many repairs. Walter was scrapped, and Emilie’s remains became a medical curio. “There are a lot of topics that we could use it to illustrate,” museum curator Alan Hawk says, “though we will probably never fire up that baby and actually run it.” —Felix Gillette