This is a beta version of NNDB
Search: for

Rodney Brooks

AKA Rodney Allen Brooks

Born: 30-Dec-1954
Birthplace: Adelaide, South Australia, Australia

Gender: Male
Religion: Atheist
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Scientist, Business
Party Affiliation: Democratic

Nationality: United States
Executive summary: Robotics and artificial intelligence researcher

Australian robot designer Rodney Brooks is a founder of iRobot, a manufacturer of home and industrial robots best known for its Roomba robotic vacuum cleaners, automated swimming pool cleaners, and robots that can climb stairs. He views himself as a very advanced robot, and maintains that robots must be inspired by living, breathing creatures, and engineered to deal with their environment before designers can hope for any success with more advanced tasks.

In 1989 he designed Genghis, a six-legged robot with compound eyes and motion and heat sensors that allowed the mechanized insect to move toward humans or other living things. His 1993 robot, called Cog, successfully developed the skill needed to "play" with Slinkys, and the ability to distinguish between the faces of different humans. For a decade he headed the AI laboratory at MIT, and he founded the school's Humanoid Robotics Group.

He was a key designer of PackBot, a radio-controlled robot used by the U.S. military for explosive ordnance disposal in battlefield situations, and has said that "the dangerous, the dirty, and the just plain boring jobs" are the natural realm for robotics. Brooks corresponded with Arthur C. Clarke, the late science fiction visionary who imagined the HAL 9000 computer in 2001: A Space Odyssey, and was a central figure in Errol Morris's 1997 documentary Fast, Cheap & Out of Control.

Father: Harry Brooks (telephone technician)
Mother: Jean Brooks (hairdresser)
Wife: Janet Sonenberg (theater teacher)
Son: Andrew Brooks

    University: BS Pure Mathematics, Flinders University of South Australia (1975)
    University: MS Pure Mathematics, Flinders University of South Australia (1978)
    University: PhD Computer Science, Stanford University (1981)
    Scholar: Carnegie Mellon University
    Scholar: Massachusetts Institute of Technology
    Teacher: Stanford University
    Professor: Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, MIT (1984-)
    Administrator: Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, MIT (1997-2007)

    Heartland Robotics Founder, Chairman and CTO (2008-)
    iRobot CTO (1990-2008)
    Member of the Board of iRobot (1990-; as Chairman, 1990-2008)
    Deere Technology Advisory Council
    IJCAI Computers and Thought Award 1991
    American Association for the Advancement of Science
    Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence Charter Member, 1979
    Association for Computing Machinery
    Australian Academy of Science
    Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering
    Friends for Harry Reid
    National Academy of Engineering
    National Information and Communication Technology Australia
    Society of Manufacturing Engineers
    The Third Culture
    Australian Ancestry
    Naturalized US Citizen
    Obama for America

    Fast, Cheap & Out of Control (7-Sep-1997) · Himself

Official Website:

Author of books:
Model-Based Computer Vision (1984, non-fiction)
Programming in Common Lisp (1985, textbook)
The Artificial Life Route to Artificial Intelligence (1995, non-fiction; with Luc Steels)
Cambrian Intelligence: The Early History of the New AI (1999, non-fiction)
Flesh and Machines: How Robots Will Change Us (2002, non-fiction)

Create a map starting with Rodney Brooks
Requires Flash 7+ and Javascript.

Do you know something we don't?
Submit a correction or make a comment about this profile

Copyright ©2019 Soylent Communications