Fort Worth Museum of Science and History
The National Geographic Film ‘ROBOTS’, written and directed by Mike Slee, takes Imax viewers inside the world of humanoid robots. Humanoid robots are defined as robots that do human functions such as walking, grabbing, and even catching. The film, which opens Friday, June 5, is sponsored by Lockheed Martin.
Robot “actor” RoboThespian (Simon Pegg) narrates the film and introduces many different types of humanoid robots such as Honda’s Asimo and NASA’s Robonaut. There is a growing need for robotics development. Engineers have been able to closely mimic human movements in robots, but there are still obstacles to overcome. Ironically, the human body is the most perfect machine. Humanoids get a bad reputation in films like iRobot, but there are many benefits to artificial intelligence, and ROBOTS hints toward a future where robots clean tables, do the laundry, and even save our lives.
The film highlights the fact that current research concerns human/robot interactions. One concern is the “uncanny vally”, a term used to describe the strange look of an android, robots designed to look like humans. Dan Ramirez of Lockheed Martin said that Lockheed is also involved in humanoid research, but they are more focused on driver-less vehicles. Robots explores the history of humanoid robots to the Fukushima disaster, which prompted the serious investment into Humanoid robots. Before that, robots were more of a gimmick.
“After Fukishima the US hosted the first DARPA Robotics Challenge in 2013. We’re going to use more nuclear energy in the future, and there is a need for robots to be able to handle any similar disasters,” said Ramirez.
ROBOTS s a fascinating and fun look at what makes us human, how far machines can really go to look and act like us, and how humanoids are already changing our world. – Will Bruner, Fort Worth Business Press