Although it hasn't been distributed in English yet, I'm dying to see "EVA", a 2011 Spanish movie about a shy computer programmer hired to create a new line of child robots.
From what little I recall of my high school Spanish, the movie trailer (see below) looks great.
People, especially kids growing up, respond emotionally to role models. They see through the rules, regulations, and official words, and respond directly to people they respect, admire, and want to be like. You can lecture them all day, and all night, and never convince them that studying science and technology is 'cool' and that they should dedicate themselves to a career in robotics.
But, what if major personalities, the most popular and well known rock stars, people like Miley Cyrus, Wi.i.am, Britney Spears, Snoop Dog, Jack Black, and even heart throb Justin Bieber, delivered the same, positive, compelling message about studying technology to make a difference?
We're about to find out...
The ROBO-ONE video footage below may seem a little dated to fans that follow the game closely, but we really like it because it provides a glimpse behind the scenes and into the personal lives of some of the top competitors. The video segments are part of an upcoming documentary, "J, Robot" by Michael Garrigues that focuses on some of the key aspects of Japanese culture that have enabled them to lead the world in robot development and deployment.
It's not surprising to find Japanese companies featuring robots in commercials to pitch and promote their products. Gigantor (Tetsujin 28) is currently appearing in cellphone ads and commercials for NTT/DoCoMo. Gundam has done gigs for ANA airlines. And, even Atom (Astro Boy) has been known to earn a few yen doing the pitchman, or pitch-robot, routine.
But, the latest Gundam TV commercial is puzzling to say the least. And, the real mystery - what is the meaning of the punchline message at the end of the video? We're just as puzzled as we're sure you will be after you watch it. If you have any clue, please post a comment below and let us know.
Much to our regret, we weren't able to make it to the States to attend the recent Robot Film Festival in person. Thankfully, the organizers were kind enough to post all of the festival films on Vimeo, so we've been amused, entertained, surprised, and delighted by their creativity and production quality. We had expected something akin to home movies, or the typical YouTube video, but quite a few of the Robot Film Festival entries turned out to be extremely well executed and professional.
A great example is "Nao 1337 Audition" created by Carlos Asmat. The film features an out of work actor (played by Nao) auditioning for a film role. In typical 'type-casting' fashion, he shows off his acting chops with excellent renditions of the Terminator, Johnny 5, R2D2, and others. Did he impress the casting director? We're not sure. But he definitely impressed us.
KQED in San Francisco put together an excellent 5 minute mini-documentary on the hackerspace movement featuring Mitch Altman, one of the founders of the Noisebridge hackerspace:
Search out a hackerspace in your community. They are popping up all over the world. Over here, Tokyo Hackerspace is well over a year old and has established a real presence in the community along with serving as a nucleus and gathering point for crafter's, experimenters, and robot geeks. If there isn't a local hackerspace near you already, then seriously consider starting one.