International Robotics, Inc.

the pioneers of Techno-Marketing

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President's Bio

Robert 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 and entrepreneurs.
Robert's 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.

That 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.

Their 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.

Influences and Inspirations

As a child, Doornick took apart his toys. In his case however, he not only reassembled them, he found ways to improve them.

Not 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.

While 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.

In 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 traveled extensively.

At 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.

Reach Out and Spark Someone

This 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.

The obvious became clear. Everyone - young and old - was more receptive to information in a relaxed atmosphere, which increased confidence and therefore social or academic success.

In 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!).

This 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.

The 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. It was a stunning affirmation of how humanized technology could reach out and "spark" someone.

A New Business Science

Close 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 also consistent.
Doornick 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.

Paging Mr. Doornick

Robert Doornick is now known for developing original marketing strategies. It was Doornick's Keynote Address at a World Conference for the shopping center industry which triggered such intense interest in Techno-Marketing™. He has also 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.

Since 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.

What the world needs now


It 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 and 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, good-will tours, seminars, demonstrations, and appearances in educational facilities all over the world. Schools frequently bus entire classes - from elementary to university level - to IRI's New York City Showroom where they can experience the magical world of technology, and be inspired by its possibilities.

SICO 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.