Shakespeare's plays have a long, long history of being modded to fit the times. We've seen Macbeths do the running man, and Cordelias dressed like Susie Sioux -- and we've also seen Forbidden Planet
, so we know that Robby was just a tinned up Ariel. So robots
in Shakespeare? Sure, we've seen that before, but what haven't we seen
intertwined into bad theatre? Well, Texas A&M's just staged A Midsummer Night's Dream
to include robotic cast members. Working with Professor Robin Murphy, who heads up the Center for Robot-Assisted Search and Rescue, director Amy Hopper hacked the script a bit to include an air robot
-- which is about the size of a pizza, and has been used in military operations -- playing a fairy, and six small radio controlled helicopters. The robotics team used the opportunity to observe how cast and audience members reacted to the robots, and we're pretty sure the audience warmed to them far more quickly than they would to Christian Bale or Sean Penn.