National Geographic Studios has created a giant screen experience to showcase the amazing humanoid robots being developed around the world to work like us, play like us, learn and even look like us.
ROBOTS, narrated by actor, comedian and filmmaker, Simon Pegg, takes audiences on an entertaining tour of the world to meet a dozen of the most remarkable robots in Europe, Japan and the United States. It provides rare access to labs where researchers are putting robots through their paces in an attempt to replicate human capabilities such as mobility, locomotion and dexterity, using sensory data and visual perception.
Given the complexities of the human brain, getting a machine to move or think like a human, or to sense, plan and act, is no mean feat.
ROBOTS’ director, Mike Slee, says, “This film will really open people’s eyes and make them think about how amazing these machines are, how amazing human beings are and how complicated it is to make a machine that can do what we do.”
The 40-minute large-format film explores the latest in the field of artificial intelligence and machine learning, humanoid cognition and human-robot interaction as well as exciting developments in cloud robotics. Hosted by humanoid robot, RoboThespian, voiced by Pegg, the film features a diverse range of machines from Robonaut, the first space robot handyman, to robot butlers and home-helper humanoids to eerily human-looking androids to search-and-rescue robots.
ROBOTS also visits the DARPA Robotics Challenge, the intense two-day competition to test how robots might deal with disasters. The event was staged by the U.S. government’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency in response to Japan’s 2011 Fukushima earthquake. The competition tested rival all-purpose rescue robots’ abilities to perform tasks such as driving, walking on rough terrain, clearing debris, opening doors, using a power tool and turning a safety valve, all during catastrophic conditions.
Brooke Runnette, president of National Geographic Studios, comments, “Dazzling visuals and a tremendously entertaining story filled with real scientific adventure and technological innovation are all wrapped up in the eye-popping giant screen package.”
All images kind courtesy of National Geographic apart from Simon Pegg kind courtesy of David Willis.