M. Doornick, the founder and President of International
Robotics Incorporated, was born and raised in Paris,
France within a family of successful show business entertainers
mother Edith, was a stage performer; his grandmother
Elizabeth, both a ballerina and a stage comedienne;
and his father, Rene, was a highly successful entertainer/businessman
known for having created and operated, with Edith Doornick,
several of the most prominent, upscale nightclubs in
France during the 1940's and '50's.
Robert Doornick became a pioneer in the field of entertainment
robotics and Techno-Marketing™ should come as no surprise
to anyone who knew his father. Rene Doornick had pioneered
glass floors, animated lighting, and rotating/elevator
stages - all of which would become standards in the
entertainment industry. Rene and Edith were also superlative
at recognizing and managing talent. Many of their featured
performers would eventually become some of Europe's
finest actors, comedians, dancers and artists.
son learned excellence at an early age and, guided by
this heritage, is now a curator and developer of leading
edge entertainment technologies - attracting some of
the best inventors, physicists and artists of our time.
a child, Doornick took apart his toys. In his case however,
he not only reassembled them, he found ways to improve
unlike the French cartoon character, Inspector Gadget,
Doornick's world has always been immersed in technology.
Whether tool or toy, he would find a way to assign a
new function to them.
He also adored American science fiction movies…the robot,
"Klatu," in The Day the Earth Stood Still, and the robot,
"Robby," in Forbidden Planet deeply impressed him as
a young boy.
still a student, Robert became aware of the limitations
of traditional educational methods and, in particular,
how those limitations affected people with learning
difficulties. The idea of merging technology with psychology
began to form.
the mid-60's, after completing military service duties
with a specialized NATO Intelligence division of the
French Army, Robert and his sister, Marie-Christine,
joined their mother in America where she had established
residence. He subsequently worked in a public relations
position at Air France, based at Kennedy Airport, and
New York University, he completed courses in Communication
Psychology, Marketing and Computer Programming. Inspired
by the philosophy of French Child Psychologist, Jean
Piaget, the idea that had formed years before - merging
technology with psychology - took hold. In 1968, Doornick
formed his first company, B & J, Inc.
Out and Spark Someone
first company was dedicated to the development and marketing
of interactive, instructional systems for those with
learning difficulties or physical handicaps. Doornick
designed and manufactured his own learning toys. This
led him to specialize in the marketing of reading developmental
tools such as tachistoscopes, and the earliest pre-computer
interactive filmstrips, diagnostic, prescriptive and
remedial learning systems.
obvious became clear. Everyone - young and old - was
more receptive to information in a relaxed atmosphere,
which increased confidence and therefore social or academic
the 1970's, personal computers were just becoming available….the
digital world beckoned. Doornick realized an interactive
learning toy that could also be associated with human
behavior would be the most effective way to achieve
his objectives. SICO (see-Ko) was born and so was International
Robotics Incorporated (you'll have to visit the site
further if you want to know what the name, "SICO," means
and, like a treasure hunt, you'll get a reward when
you find it!).
adult-sized, remotely operated, multi-lingual robot
personality represented the ultimate expression of Communication
Surrogates: neutral by virtue of being non-human, friendly,
funny, and touchable. The robot was not perceived as
a threat because it would change its psychological persona
according to the person it was interacting with.
first SICO was tested and operated both by Robert and
his sister, Marie-Christine, in France. (see Who Are
We? for more details) SICO was immediately successful
because the robot's non-threatening demeanor transcended
all age, social, ethnic and intellectual barriers.
was a stunning affirmation of how humanized technology
could reach out and "spark" someone.
New Business Science
observation between the robots and their audiences revealed
distinct patterns of human behavior. Doornick coined
the term, Technology-To-People Behavioral Psychology,
because these patterns were not only unique, they were
soon recognized the powerful appeal of these accessible
and futuristic icons for the business world where similar
stress factors and defense mechanisms existed. This
launched his concept of Techno-Marketing™ - a business
science whose premise is to capitalize upon society's
intense fascination with science and technology. By
integrating into consumer, corporate, and entertainment
environments unique technologies which, by virtue of
their extraordinary visual or aural nature, a Techno-Marketing™
installation could overcome the otherwise unresponsive
- often blasé - attitude of the average consumer.
Doornick is now known for developing original marketing
strategies. It was Doornick's Keynote Address at a
Conference for the shopping center industry which triggered
such intense interest in Techno-Marketing™. He has
lectured at The U.S. Space Foundation, New York University
School of Business, Fordham University, the International
Conference for the Exhibit Industry, the International
Council of Shopping Centers, the International Meeting
Planners Association, as well as conducting numerous
seminars for Fortune 500 Companies.
the creation of his first robot, media interest has
not abated. This past year, Doornick has been interviewed
by CNN 3 times. International Robotics Incorporated
has been featured on the Discovery Channel, CNBC and
on Japanese, Chinese, British, Italian, French, Canadian;
and Latin American Television.
the world needs now
is IRI's intention to pursue the highest
level of technological
expression in not only the entertainment of the general
public, but also the education. Robert Doornick
IRI are now, more than ever, dedicated to the stimulation
of young minds. On a continuous basis, IRI does its
best to provoke curiosity and encourage the pursuit
of science or technology careers through lectures,
tours, seminars, demonstrations, and appearances in
educational facilities all over the world. Schools
bus entire classes - from elementary to university
- to IRI's New York City Showroom where they can experience
the magical world of technology, and be inspired by
has stood on the streets of Harlem to address street
gangs; made lasting friendships with teenagers at National
Urban League Job Conferences, and participated in countless
fund-raisers for education. SICO represents a hopeful
and compassionate future to kids who, too often, are
exposed only to the brutal realities of life.