On June 5, there’s some Robots coming to the big-screen… specifically, the REALLY big screens. National Geographic Studios’ ROBOTS 3D will premiere in Giant Screen, IMAX, and Digital 3D cinemas around the Globe, giving audiences an inside look at how hard it is to mimic what we humans can do as well as what it means to be a humanoid. One of the coolest parts? It’s narrated by RoboThespian – an android that sounds an awful lot like actor Simon Pegg or SHAUN OF THE DEAD, HOT FUZZ and STAR TREK fame.
More from the Official Announcement: RoboThespian takes audiences on a lively tour of the world to meet a dozen of the most remarkable robots in Europe, Japan and the United States. From Robonaut, the first space robot handyman, to robot butlers and home-helper humanoids to eerily human-looking androids to search-and-rescue robots, the film showcases the latest cutting-edge efforts — as well as the challenges — driving roboticists, engineers and scientists around the globe to new breakthroughs.
Directed by Mike Slee (“Flight of the Butterflies”; “Bugs!”) and produced by Jini Dürr (“Mysteries of the Unseen World”; “Sea Monsters: A Prehistoric Adventure”), ROBOTS 3D provides rare access to labs where researchers are putting robots through their paces, striving to replicate human capabilities such as mobility, locomotion and dexterity, using sensory data and visual perception. Getting a machine to move or think like a human, or to sense, plan and act, is no easy feat. Given the complexities and capabilities of the human brain, hands, feet and face alone — not to mention the number of muscles and joints — robot researchers have their work cut out for them in developing humanoids that won’t just achieve human potential, but could one day surpass it.
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.
ROBOTS 3D also travels to the DARPA Robotics Challenge, the intense two-day competition to test how robots might deal with disasters, staged by the U.S. government’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency as a 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.
MEET THE HUMANOIDS:
With RoboThespian as a guide, the film highlights the featured aptitudes of each robot. Among the humanoids that ROBOTS 3D introduces to audiences are:
• “HRP-2”: Designed to study locomotion, this bipedal bot can crawl and walk.
• “ASIMO”: Honda’s famed humanoid can jump and run up to 5 mph.
• “ATLAS”: This 6-foot, 330-pound, search-and-rescue robot navigates rough terrain.
• “COMAN”: Just try to knock down this small headless wonder with the flexible joints.
• “HERB THE BUTLER”: Thanks to this helper, we may never have to clear the table or do dishes again.
• “ROBONAUT”: NASA’s space handyman helps astronauts aboard the International Space Station.
• “CHIMP”: This humanoid “sees” by using laser light and sending out pulses that bounce back, like a bat uses echolocation.
• “JUSTIN”: You will definitely want this robot on your team. It has a 90 percent accuracy rate for catching balls.
• “iCUB”: This adorable robot is designed to look like a child and to learn like one.
• “PR-2”: This robot could tie shoes and fold laundry because of its ability to recognize shapes and manipulate soft and flexible materials.
• ANDROIDS: The human face has over 40 muscles to express emotions like fear, anger, surprise, happiness — and these androids seem capable of these emotions, too.
• “NAO”: This small humanoid used for education is a huge favorite with kids everywhere.
ROBOTS 3D gives audiences a fascinating and exciting look at what makes us human, how far machines must go to look and act like us and how humanoids are already changing our world. Addressing technological and philosophical questions with clarity and humor, the film provides a glimpse into a future in which man and machine forge an increasingly sophisticated relationship.
An original production from Day’s End Pictures for National Geographic Studios, ROBOTS 3D was produced in partnership with Lockheed Martin. Symantec is an educational outreach partner, while the National 4-H Council and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers are promotional partners for the film. Executive producers are Brooke Runnette and Lisa Truitt. Sean MacLeod Phillips is director of photography.
See the trailer and more at the official website.