Season 12, Episode 8 Games Machines Play

First Aired: May 21, 2002

This look at machines explores some of the “suprisingly human things,” as host Alan Alda puts it, that human-made things can do. First, Alda watches machines play soccer at the 1999 and 2001 RoboCup tourneys, where robot designers share technology---after the matches. Alda also follows submarine races in suburban Washington, D.C., in which the machines are powered by humans. And he handles play-by-play duties at an MIT engineering contest where sophomore-built machines duke it out on a teeter-totter.

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  • Premise: Science, technology and nature are examined with insight, humor and an eye on the practical, with smartly paced reports on such subjects as the big-bang theory, robots, the relationship between stress and illness, and whether we are alone in the universe.… (more)

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