Rodney Brooks

name = Rodney Allen Brooks

image_width = 152px
caption = Rodney Brooks in 2005
birth_date = Birth date and age|1954|12|30|mf=y
birth_place = Adelaide
death_date =
death_place =
residence =
nationality = n
field = Robotics
work_institution = MIT
alma_mater = Stanford University
Flinders University

Rodney Allen Brooks (b. December 30, 1954, in Adelaide, Australia) is Panasonic Professor of Robotics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is Chief Technical Officer and sits on the Board of iRobot Corp. From July 1, 2003, until June 30, 2007, he was director of the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory; prior to that, he was director of the MIT Artificial Intelligence Laboratory.

His work in robotics, first published in 1986 and subsequently elaborated upon in a series of highly influential papers, inaugurated a fundamental shift in artificial intelligence research. Brooks has argued strongly against symbolic processing approaches to creating intelligent machines, which had been the focus of AI since the days of Alan Turing, directly tracing back to the work of Gottlob Frege. Instead, Brooks has focused on biologically-inspired robotic architectures (e.g., the Subsumption architecture) that address basic perceptual and sensorimotor tasks. These had been largely dismissed as uninteresting by the mainstream AI community, which was far more interested in reasoning about the real world than in interacting with it. Conversely, Brooks argued that interacting with the physical world is far more difficult than symbolically reasoning about it. This perspective is perhaps best and most eloquently described in his classic paper, [ Elephants Don't Play Chess.]

Career summary, research

*Degree in pure mathematics from Flinders University of South Australia
*Ph.D. in Computer Science from Stanford University (1981)
*Research positions at Carnegie Mellon University and MIT
*Faculty position at Stanford University
*Joined the faculty of MIT (1984)

Current research:
*engineering intelligent robots to operate in unstructured environments
*understanding human intelligence through building humanoid robots

Previous research:
*behavior based robotics

Corporate Spin-offs:
*Founder and currently Chief Technical Officer of iRobot []


Recent books and papers:
*"Cambrian Intelligence: The Early History of the New AI" (MIT Press, 1999) ISBN 0-262-52263-2
*K. Warwick "Out of the Shady age: the best of robotics compilation", Review of Cambrian Intelligence: the early history of AI, by R A Brooks, Times Higher Educational Supplement, p. 32, 15th Sept. 2000.

*" [ The Relationship Between Matter and Life] " (in Nature 409, pp. 409-411; 2001)
*"Flesh and Machines: How Robots Will Change Us" (Pantheon, 2002) ISBN 0-375-42079-7

Other publications include papers and books in:
*model-based computer vision
*path planning
*uncertainty analysis
*robot assembly
*active vision
*autonomous robots
*behavior based AI
*planetary exploration
*artificial life
*humanoid robots
*compiler design
*cyborg insects [cite web|url=,2933,276182,00.html| - Scientist: Military Working on Cyborg Spy Moths|accessdate=2008-06-24]

Prof. Brooks was also co-founding editor of the International Journal of Computer Vision and is on the editorial boards of various journals including:
*Adaptive Behavior
*Artificial Life
*Applied Artificial Intelligence
*Autonomous Robots
*New Generation Computing

Memberships, lectureships, prizes, etc

Memberships include:
*Founding Fellow of the American Association for Artificial Intelligence (AAAI)
*Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)
*Member of the National Academy of Engineering (NAE)
*In 2005 he was inducted as a Fellow of the Association for Computing Machinery.
* Australian Academy of Science - Corresponding Member 2006

Prizes include:
*Computers and Thought Award at the 1991 IJCAI (International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence)

Lectureships include:
*Cray lecturer at the University of Minnesota
*Mellon lecturer at Dartmouth College
*Hyland lecturer at Hughes
*Forsythe lecturer at Stanford University

Film appearances include:
*Being himself in the Errol Morris movie "Fast, Cheap and Out of Control" (named after one of his scientific papers)


External links

* [ Home page]
* [ The Deep Question] Interview with Rodney Brooks by "Edge"
* [ The Past and Future of Behavior Based Robotics] Podcast Interview with Rodney Brooks by "Talking Robots"
* [ Intelligence Without Reason] seminal criticism of Von Neumann computing architecture
* [ BBC article]
* [ CSAIL Rodney A. Brooks Biography]
* [ MIT: Cog Shop]
* [ MIT: Rodney Brooks]
* [ Rodney A. Brooks Biography]
* [ Rodney A. Brooks Publications]

NAME= Brooks, Rodney Allen
SHORT DESCRIPTION= Australian Roboticist
DATE OF BIRTH= December 30, 1954

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