Segments in this Video

A Robot Challenge (02:10)


MIT Roboticist Rodney Brooks rebuts the cinematic idea that making robots is easy. He and his team have five months to make a GO playing robot for the DOD.

Revolutionary Robot (01:28)

The Chinese board game, GO, requires fine motor skills and social interaction. A robot with these skills would be valuable for the military and industry.

Interactive Robot Domo (02:21)

Roboticist Brooks notes robots' evil representation in the movies. Domo, created by Aaron Edsinger at MIT, is an experimental robot designed for human interaction.

Making Robots Safe (02:27)

Social Antropologist Kathleen Richardson explains that humans relate more to humanoid robots. Domo senses the correct force to grip a human hand and responds to human pressure.

The Race for the Household Robot (02:20)

Big companies like Google and Microsoft are in the race to produce smart, interactive machines for the home and businesses. Prof. Brooks hopes his GO robot will become essential for the home.

Honda's Asimo Robot (01:15)

Robot Ethicist Ron Arkin talks about the abilities and limitations of Honda's robot, Asimo. Asimo is not autonomous, does not respond to its environment, and is not socially aware.

Robot Autonomy (02:54)

Despite progress from remote control to telesurgery, autonomy in a humanoid robot is the goal. Scientist and author, Daniel Wilson, notes the difficulties.

Perceptional Problems for the PlayGo Robot (02:53)

Rodney Brooks's team write programs for the PlayGo robot to see and respond to elements of the GO game, competing with millions of years of human evolution.

Early Obstacle Avoiding Robots (02:01)

Prof. Brooks' early robots used camera vision to avoid obstacles. He understood the need for the robot to sense and respond like ants to obstacles.

Six Legged Genghis Robot (01:13)

In 1998, Brooks created Genghis, an ant-like robot, forerunner of Swarm robots, the Mars Rover and robots on the battlefield. It also led to biomimetics.

Biomimetics (01:33)

Biomimetics solves complex problems using examples from nature. Brooks' IRobot company produces household robots like the Roomba.

Trial and Error Process (02:03)

With three months to finish the PlayGo robot, Brooks works on the arm movement.

Robotic Assistance in Manufacturing (02:51)

The Jabil Company needs to lower production costs with Brooks' robots to keep production in the U.S.. Machines will replace costly human labor. Brooks' team work on PlayGo's hand and fingers.

Robots to Assist the Elderly (03:07)

As the world population ages, robot companions become more useful. In Japan, Brooks meets with Minoru Asada, the designer of CB square, a child-like biomimetic robot.

Japanese Acceptance of Robots (02:55)

Ethicist Ron Arkin comments on robot companions, but Dr. Asada explains that Japanese animism allows the robot a soul. The animated character of Astroboy is another factor in Japanese acceptance of robots.

Learned Social Intelligence (02:59)

CB square is meant to learn from its environment like human infants. Cynthia Breazeal designed Kismet with eyes, ears and mouth, and emulated the way a parent interacts with an infant.

Human Tendency to Anthropomorphize (01:18)

Anthropologist Kathleen Richardson and author Daniel Wilson comment on human tendency to respond to faces and anthropomorphize robots.

Robotic Independent Decision Making (02:10)

PlayGo's four cameras and special human detection software is ready for a test for social interaction as it uses the downloaded rules of the game to play GO.

Military Robots (03:05)

The military interest is for forward robotic scouts following a Congressional mandate for more unmanned missions. IRobot produces a SUGV surveillance robot for the military.

Robot Ethics (01:46)

Robot Ethicist Ron Arkin comments on the need for robot ethics like author Isaac Asimov's three laws.

Robotic Reliability (04:54)

Final tests for PlayGo do not go well as the integration of systems fail, but the science was done and the engineering will follow. Brooks believes robots will transform humanity.

Credits: Robot Revolution (01:02)

Credits: Robot Revolution

For additional digital leasing and purchase options contact a media consultant at 800-257-5126
(press option 3) or

Robot Revolution

DVD (Chaptered) Price: $169.95
DVD + 3-Year Streaming Price: $254.93
3-Year Streaming Price: $169.95



Professor Rodney Brooks has had one enduring ambition his entire life: to build machines that can truly think. He’s been doing so since he was eight years of age, tinkering obsessively in the backyard garage. At the forefront of a stunning period in robotic history, today Professor Brooks and his dedicated team of scientists are certain they’re about to make a technological breakthrough as they race to customize the world’s first truly socially interactive humanoid robot. (53 minutes)

Length: 54 minutes

Item#: BVL57828

ISBN: 978-0-81609-710-4

Copyright date: ©2008

Closed Captioned

Performance Rights

Prices include public performance rights.

Not available to Home Video customers.

Only available in USA and Canada.