Don't Worry; Robots Won't Kill You, Says Honda - NBC Southern California

Don't Worry; Robots Won't Kill You, Says Honda

Honda documentary pushes company's pro-robot agenda



    Thanks to Hollywood, there are certain things we know to be true:

    1. All bad guys have mustaches.
    2. Always cut the red wire.
    3. All villains have to be killed two to three times.
    4. Always cut the blue wire.
    5. And most importantly, all robots are pure evil and will eventually turn on the humans and kill them.

    Whoa, whoa, whoa, robot haters. Honda has something to say about that last one.

    As part of the company's short documentary "Living With Robots," Honda is presenting its case for the general population to, well, stop being afraid of robots (Disclosure: Honda is running ads for the documentary on this website).

    Honda Trailer for "Living With Robots"

    [LA] Honda Trailer for "Living With Robots"
    Watch a trailer for Honda's short documentary "Living With Robots."
    (Published Monday, March 15, 2010)

    "I think robots have such a bad rap. I love science fiction but if I get one more shot of 'The Terminator,' I think I'm going to scream," says Robin R. Murphy of Texas A&M.

    From there, Murphy elaborates on search-and-rescue robots. Cut to a doctor explaining robotic advances in surgery. According to the documentary, maybe Hollywood's anti-robot agenda has been a bit unjustified.

    Then the 8.5-minute movie introduces us ASIMO, Honda's bi-pedal robot developed to "help people and someday assist the elderly and disabled in their homes." And it's coming to a neighborhood near you, according to Honda.

    "The goal is to eventually have a bi-pedal humanoid robot that can be helpful in a person's home," says American Honda communications supervisor Alicia Jones.

    But before that can happen, the automaker will first need to convince the world that robots won't kill us and take over the planet. That's a tough sell thanks to Hollywood, but at least Honda is trying.

    "I think a lot of people watch too much television. There's a lot of things you can dream up in a sci-fi movie, but when it gets down to reality, it's a much more difficult task to make that kind of technology come to life," said American Honda communications supervisor Alicia Jones.

    Plus, there's still a creepy factor that will be tough to overcome. Honda knows this.

    "I don't think robots can coexist with people if you can't overcome that issue. For example, if you were sitting next to a robot that has a human-like face, I think it would be rather creepy, even a bit fearful," says Yasuhisa Arai, director and COO of Honda R&D Fundamental Technology Research Center.

    The full movie is available online at But be warned, after watching, you may start second-guessing Hollywood absolutes (and everyone knows the good guy's gun has unlimited ammo).

    Obligatory Old Glory SNL sketch: