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Rodney Brooks’ Contribution to Robotics

During 1960s, robots were launched in the industries for automobile assembly lines.

Rodney Brooks

‘The Economist’, based on Rodney Brooks, an ex-tenured Professor of Robotics at MIT and his Heartland Robotics company, states that venture capitalists have forecasted $32 M on production facility, and anticipate a revolution in the field.

As the CEO and President of Heartland Robotics, Brooks while addressing the MIT professionals on April 20, on behalf of a student entrepreneurship group, said that during 1960s, he created a primitive computer using vacuum tubes with only 64 bits of total random access memory. Inspired by a 1968 movie “2001: A Space Odyssey”, Brooks approached Marvin Minsky, a MIT professor who was a consultant to filmmaker Stanley Kubrick.

Brooks’ first contribution to robotics started with constructing small, low-cost robots with autonomous control systems. As a substitute to NASA proposals for large planetary rovers, this concept was presented in a research paper titled “Fast, Cheap and Out of Control.” Brooks was then selected to play a leading role in a documentary film by Errol Morris, with the name unchanged.

This smaller, simpler robots approach benefited NASA, where Brooks contributed the first mobile robotic Mars rover called ‘Sojourner’.

In association with MIT students and post doctoral students, Brooks developed several different robots that can capture the facial expressions and gestures of a person, and determine their emotional state.

Brooks has also established several companies such as the iRobot, renowned for its recent launch of vacuum-cleaning robot called Roomba. Furthermore, the company created various military robots, which are being widely deployed by U.S. forces to navigate through dangerous areas and disarm explosives.



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