wa dennis hong

Dr. Dennis Hong is the Founding Director of the Robotics & Mechanisms Laboratory at UCLA.

What was once the stuff of science fiction has become reality. Robots are being used today for everything from fixing automobiles to exploring space, and they are increasingly becoming more human-like. Well-known roboticist Dr. Dennis Hong is the inventor of a number of cutting edge robots including those that can walk, climb, dance, and even play soccer. He also invented the world’s first car that can be driven by the blind. How will this technology change our world? On this week's episode of Watching America, host Dr. Alan Cambell speaks with Hong about the possibilities and the next evolution in robotics engineering.

Six-year-old Dennis Hong was visiting Los Angeles from South Korea when he saw Star Wars for the first time. He was awestruck by the curious movements of R2-D2 and the human-like robot C-3PO. He decided that day he wanted to spend his life building robots. That was 1977. Today, he is the Founding Director of the Robotics & Mechanisms Laboratory at UCLA, and some have called him "the Leonardo da Vinci of robots."

In his popular Ted Talks, Hong has introduced many of the robots he and his team have created. In this intriguing interview, Hong discusses how the designs of robots have changed through the years and what may be ahead in the future.

Listen to the interview.