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Robot & Frank: The Future of Computerized Companions

Friday, June 1, 2012
7:00 pm - 9:30 pm

Join us for a screening of Robot & Frank, winner of the 2012 Alfred P. Sloan Foundation feature film prize at Sundance. This dramatic comedy, about a curmudgeonly old jewel thief whose robot caretaker becomes an unlikely partner-in-crime and soulmate, will inspire a follow-up discussion among pioneering roboticists, exploring the future of computerized companions and caretakers as technology profoundly alters the landscape—and very definition—of human interaction.

A special preview screening of the soon-to-be-released, “Robot & Frank,” courtesy of Samuel Goldwyn Films and Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions.


This program is supported by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation as part of its Public Understanding of Science and Technology initiatives.

Presented in collaboration with the Museum of the Moving Image.


David BrancaccioAnchor, Correspondent, Author

David Brancaccio is a correspondent for the radio program Marketplace produced by American Public Media. He hosted Marketplace for ten years after serving as a London-based correspondent for the program.

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Maja MatarićComputer Scientist, Roboticist

Maja Matarić is at the forefront of the growing field of “socially assistive” robotics, building intelligent machines that can interact with humans socially, rather than physically, to help them learn new skills or recover from illness and injury.

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Dennis HongRoboticist, Engineer

Dennis Hong, a TED alumnus, is an associate professor and the founding director of RoMeLa (Robotics & Mechanisms Laboratory) of the Mechanical Engineering Department at Virginia Tech.

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