The  Day The  Earth  Stood  Still

Coolidge Corner Theatre Brookline, MA


Dr. Dennis Hong

Founder and Director, Robotics & Mechanisms Laboratory, Virginia Tech

The Day the Earth Stood Still— Recent Advances in Robotics

A discussion of recent advances in robotics, emphasizing humanoid robots.

Coolidge Corner Theatre Brookline, MA

Film Synopsis

An alien lands and tells the people of Earth that they must live peacefully or be destroyed as a danger to other planets.

When a UFO lands in Washington, DC, bearing a message for Earth's leaders, all of humanity stands still. Klaatu (Michael Rennie) has come on behalf of alien life who have been watching Cold War-era nuclear proliferation on Earth. But it is Klaatu's soft-spoken robot, Gort, that presents a more immediate threat to onlookers. A single mother (Patricia Neal) and her son teach the world about peace and tolerance in this moral fable, ousting the tanks and soldiers that greet the alien's arrival. Robert Wise's 1951 film is considered by many critics and fans to be one of the greatest sci-fi movies of all time.

About the Speaker

Dr. Dennis Hong is an associate professor of mechanical engineering and director of the Robotics & Mechanisms Laboratory at Virginia Tech. His research focuses on robot locomotion and manipulation, autonomous vehicles, and humanoid robots. He is the inventor of a number of novel robots and mechanisms, including the ‘whole skin locomotion’ for mobile robots inspired by how amoeba move, a unique three-legged waking robot STriDER, an air-powered robotic hand RAPHaEL, and the world’s first car that can be driven by the blind. His work has been featured on numerous national and international media. Dr. Hong received his BS in mechanical engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Madison (1994), and an MS and PhD in mechanical engineering from Purdue University (1999, 2002).