The Robotics Institute
RI | Seminar | March 29th

Robotics Institute Seminar, March 29
Time and Place | Seminar Abstract | Speaker Biography | Speaker Appointments

Flesh and Machines: how robots will change us.

Rodney Brooks
Director, AI Lab

Time and Place
Porter Hall 100
Refreshments 3:15 pm
Talk 3:30 pm

Flesh and Machines explores the startlingly reciprocal connection between humans and their technological brethren, and explains how this relationship is being redefined as humans develop increasingly complex machines. The impetus to build machines that exhibit lifelike behaviors stretches back centuries, but for the last fifteen years much of this work has been done in Rodney Brooks's laboratory at MIT. His goal is not simply to build machines that are like humans but to alter our perception of the potential capabilities of robots. Our current attitude toward intelligent robots, he asserts, is simply a reflection of our own view of ourselves.

Speaker Biography
Rodney A. Brooks is Director of the 230 person MIT Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, and is the Fujitsu Professor of Computer Science He is also Chairman and Chief Technical Officer of iRobot Corp He received degrees in pure mathematics from the Flinders University of South Australia and the Ph.D. in Computer Science from Stanford University in 1981 He held research positions at Carnegie Mellon University and MIT, and a faculty position at Stanford before joining the faculty of MIT in 1984 His research is concerned with both the engineering of intelligent robots to operate in unstructured environments, and with understanding human intelligence through building humanoid robots He has published papers and books in model-based computer vision, path planning, uncertainty analysis, robot assembly, active vision, autonomous robots, micro-robots, micro-actuators, planetary exploration, representation, artificial life, humanoid robots, and compiler design Dr. Brooks is a Founding Fellow of the American Association for Artificial Intelligence (AAAI) and a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) He won the Computers and Thought Award at the 1991 IJCAI (International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence) He has been the Cray lecturer at the University of Minnesota, the Mellon lecturer at Dartmouth College, the Hyland lecturer at Hughes, and the Forsythe lecturer at Stanford University He was co-founding editor of the International Journal of Computer Vision and is a member of the editorial boards of various journals including Adaptive Behavior, Artificial Life, Applied Artificial Intelligence, Autonomous Robots and New Generation Computing He serves on the board of the Intelligent Inspection Corporation He starred as himself in the Errol Morris movie "Fast, Cheap and Out of Control"; named for one of his scientific papers, a Sony Classics picture, now available on videocassette His most recent publications include "Cambrian Intelligence," (MIT Press, 1999), "The Relationship Between Matter and Life" (in Nature 409, pp. 409-411; 2001) and "Flesh and Machines," (Pantheon, 2002)

Speaker Appointments
For appointments, please contact Yanxi Liu (

The Robotics Institute is part of the School of Computer Science, Carnegie Mellon University.