Robot  Frank

The Cinefamily Los Angeles, CA


Ross Mead

USC Interaction Lab

Robot & Frank— A Hopeful Reimagining of Man-Machine Relations

Ross Mead discussed a more hopeful reimagining of 2001's portrait of man-machine relations.

The Cinefamily Los Angeles, CA

Film Synopsis

In the near future, an ex-jewel thief receives a gift from his son: a robot butler programmed to look after him. But soon the two companions try their luck as a heist team.

In the near future, Frank (Frank Langella) is a retired catburglar living alone, while his successful son, Hunter (James Marsden), tries to care for him from afar. Finally, Hunter gets him a robot caretaker (voiced by Peter Sarsgaard), and Frank soon learns that the robot is useful as a burglary aide. As Frank tries to restart his old profession, the uncomfortable realities of a changing world and his worsening dementia threaten to go beyond what any robot can do for him.

About the Speaker

Ross Mead is a PhD research student at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. Working in the USC Interaction Lab, Mead studies human-robot interactions to make robots and virtual human non-player characters (NPCs) more realistic to engage with, with an aim to help develop robots that can assist people in their homes and daily lives.