Rodney Brooks

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Rodney Brooks
Rodney Brooks in 2021.jpg
Brooks in 2021
Born
Rodney Allen Brooks

(1954-12-30) 30 December 1954 (age 67)
NationalityAustralian
Alma materStanford University
Flinders University
AwardsIJCAI Computers and Thought Award
Scientific career
FieldsRobotics
InfluencedAndy Clark

Rodney Allen Brooks (born 30 December 1954[1][better source needed]) is an Australian roboticist, Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science, author, and robotics entrepreneur, most known for popularizing the actionist approach to robotics. He was a Panasonic Professor of Robotics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and former director of the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory. He is a founder and former Chief Technical Officer of iRobot[2] and co-Founder, Chairman and Chief Technical Officer of Rethink Robotics (formerly Heartland Robotics) and currently[when?] is the co-founder and Chief Technical Officer of Robust.AI (founded in 2019).[3]

Life[edit]

Brooks received a M.A. in pure mathematics from Flinders University of South Australia.[citation needed]

In 1981, he received a PhD in Computer Science from Stanford University under the supervision of Thomas Binford.[4] He has held research positions at Carnegie Mellon University and MIT and a faculty position at Stanford University. He joined the faculty of MIT in 1984. He was Panasonic Professor of Robotics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He was director of the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (1997–2007), previously the "Artificial Intelligence Laboratory".

In 1997, Brooks and his work were featured in the film Fast, Cheap & Out of Control.[5]

Brooks became a member of the National Academy of Engineering in 2004 for contributions to the foundations and applications of robotics, including the establishment of consumer and hazardous environment robotics industries.[6]

Work[edit]

Academic work[edit]

Rodney Brooks in 2005

Instead of computation as the ultimate conceptual metaphor that helped artificial intelligence become a separate discipline in the scientific community, he proposed that action or behavior are more appropriate to be used in robotics. Critical of applying the computational metaphor, even to the fields where the action metaphor is more appropriate, he wrote in 2008 that:

Some of my colleagues have managed to recast Pluto's orbital behavior as the body itself carrying out computations on forces that apply to it. I think we are perhaps better off using Newtonian mechanics (with a little Einstein thrown in) to understand and predict the orbits of planets and others. It is so much simpler.[7]

In his 1990 paper, "Elephants Don't Play Chess",[8] Brooks argued that in order for robots to accomplish everyday tasks in an environment shared by humans, their higher cognitive abilities, including abstract thinking emulated by symbolic reasoning, need to be based on the primarily sensory-motor coupling (action) with the environment, complemented by the proprioceptive sense which is a key component in hand–eye coordination, pointing out that:

Over time there's been a realization that vision, sound-processing, and early language are maybe the keys to how our brain is organized.[5]

Editor positions

Brooks was also co-founding editor of the International Journal of Computer Vision and is on the editorial boards of various journals including:

Memberships

Industrial work[edit]

Brooks was an entrepreneur before leaving academia to found Rethink Robotics. He was one of ten founders of Lucid Inc., and worked with them until the company's closure in 1993.[citation needed] Before Lucid closed, Brooks had founded iRobot with former students Colin Angle and Helen Greiner.

Robots[edit]

Robot at Rethink Robotics, 2013. Brooks is at the right in the lineup behind the robot. At left is Steve Jurvetson, the photographer.

He experimented with off-the-shelf components, such as Fischertechnik and Lego, and tried to make robots self-replicate by putting together clones of themselves using the components. His robots include mini-robots used in oil wells explorations without cables, the robots that searched for survivors at Ground Zero in New York, and the robots used in medicine doing robotic surgery.[5]

Allen

In the late 1980s, Brooks and his team introduced Allen, a robot using subsumption architecture. As of 2012 Brooks' work focused on engineering intelligent robots to operate in unstructured environments, and understanding human intelligence through building humanoid robots.[citation needed]

Baxter

Introduced in 2012 by Rethink Robotics, an industrial robot named Baxter was intended as the robotic analogue of the early personal computer designed to safely interact with neighboring human workers and be programmable for the performance of simple tasks. The robot stopped if it encountered a human in the way of its robotic arm and has a prominent off switch which its human partner can push if necessary. Costs were projected to be the equivalent of a worker making $4 an hour.[11]

Awards and honors[edit]

Lectureships include:

Film appearances[edit]

  • We Need to Talk About A.I (2020)
  • Machine (2019)
  • Welcome to the Machine (2012)
  • Rodney's Robot Revolution (2008)
  • cyborg insects on FOXNews[12]
  • Love Machine (2002)
  • Cyberworld 2020 (2002)
  • Fast, Cheap & Out of Control (1997)
  • Future Fantastic (1996)

Bibliography[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Rodney Brooks". NNDB. Archived from the original on 25 August 2016. Retrieved 23 January 2017.
  2. ^ Companies – CSAIL People – MIT
  3. ^ "Startup Founded by Cognitive Scientist Gary Marcus and Roboticist Rodney Brooks Raises $15 Million to Make Building Smarter Robots Easier". Forbes.
  4. ^ Rodney Allan Brooks at the Mathematics Genealogy Project.
  5. ^ a b c Beyond computation: a talk with Rodney Brooks, Edge, 2002
  6. ^ "NAE website-Dr Rodney A. Brooks". NAE. Retrieved 5 September 2021.
  7. ^ Brooks, Rodney (2008). "Computation as the Ultimate Metaphor ("What have you changed your mind about?")". www.edge.org. Retrieved 31 October 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  8. ^ Brooks, RA (1990). "Elephants don't play chess" (PDF). Robotics and Autonomous Systems. 6 (1–2): 139–159. CiteSeerX 10.1.1.588.7539. doi:10.1016/s0921-8890(05)80025-9.
  9. ^ "Editorial Info | Artificial Life | MIT Press". direct.mit.edu. Retrieved 31 October 2021.
  10. ^ "Rodney A Brooks". ACM Fellows. ACM. 2005. Retrieved 23 January 2010. For contributions to artificial intelligence and robotics.
  11. ^ John Markoff (18 September 2012). "A Robot With a Reassuring Touch". The New York Times. Retrieved 18 September 2012.
  12. ^ "FOXNews.com – Scientist: Military Working on Cyborg Spy Moths". Fox News. 30 May 2007. Retrieved 24 June 2008.
  13. ^ Falcon, William (30 November 2018). "This Is The Future Of AI According To 23 World-Leading AI Experts". Forbes. Retrieved 20 March 2019.

External links[edit]