"Robots 3D" is a niche movie. For those who are into robotics and interested in the progress of artificial intelligence, this film is fascinating.
"Robots 3D" opens June 5 at the Mammoth Screen Theatre at Thanksgiving Point inside the Museum of Ancient Life. Directed by Mike Slee and produced by National Geographic Entertainment in cooperation with Lockheed Martin, "Robots 3D" introduces viewers to Asimo, Atlas, iCub and HRP2.
Asimo can jump and run. Atlas is a very strong rescue robot but is also easily pushed over, while iCub is designed to look and act like a child. HRP2 can dance.
In 40 minutes, viewers will learn how remarkable it is to be able to grasp something gently but firmly, that walking is really controlled falling and that it takes years to mimic actions humans do without thinking — like catching a ball or unscrewing a lid to pour out a drink.
Arty, a robot thespian, narrates this film. He's a humanoid robot voiced by Simon Pegg who explains that there are millions of robots out there performing all kinds of tasks — outfitted with lasers and cameras and computers for brains.
One was created to be the world's first space handyman. Others were designed to help out in natural disasters. Hundreds perform routine but essential jobs every day.
In each case, there are feats that are impressive, even astounding. With a robot, "You can invent, you can build, you can imagine, you can dream," Arty says.
It's something to appreciate.
That said, it's kind of a one-note flick. Don't expect a story line or sympathetic characters like there are in "Wall-E." Young children probably won't stay with this. But older children, teenagers and adults should like it.
Sharon Haddock is a professional writer with more than 35 years' experience, 17 at the Deseret News. Her personal blog is at sharonhaddock.blogspot.com.