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Guide Index

Big Picture

Mazes and Squiggles

Look, No Hands!

Toddler's First Steps

Almost Human


Viewer Challenge
in the classroom

ROBOTS ALIVE! Viewer Challenge

Watch SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN FRONTIERS Show 705, "Robots Alive," and test your knowledge by answering these questions:


1. What strategy enables SRI to win the maze contest?
a. radar
b. multiple robots
c. remote sensors
d. motion detectors
2. In the tennis ball contest, what kinds of robots are favored to do best?

3. If lane markers are missing, what does the experimental van's system do?
a. stops running
b. adapts to identify other features on the road
c. alerts the driver
d. sends signals to satellites
4. Name two potential applications of the Carnegie Mellon Navlab project.
5. How is the robot built by the University of New Hampshire different from earlier walking robots?
6. What is the first thing the robot nicknamed "Toddler" learns?
a. how to walk
b. how to balance on one leg
c. how to hop
d. how not to fall over
7. With Cog, Rodney Brooks and his colleagues at MIT hope to build a robot with the intelligence and capabilities of a(n):
a. six-month-old baby.
b. ten-year-old child.
c. adult.
d. Star Fleet commander.
8. Compared to robots like IT, why is Cog a more advanced system?

9. Describe the task the aerial robot must complete.
10. Which of these devices enables the Stanford team to win the contest?
a. sensors
b. motion detectors
c. vision system
d. GPS (Global Positioning System)

Check your answers to "Robots Alive!" Viewer Challenge


Scientific American Frontiers
Fall 1990 to Spring 2000
Sponsored by GTE Corporation,
now a part of Verizon Communications Inc.