Red Planet was released in 2000 and directed by Antony Hoffman. It starred Val Kilmer, Carrie-Anne Moss, and Tom Sizemore.
The movie takes place in the year 2057 when we’re told that mankind has overpopulated and pretty much trashed the Earth, so the government(s) want to move everybody to Mars. So for the past decade or so, unmanned probes containing oxygen-producing algae have been rocketed to the red planet to help create a breathable atmosphere.
A team of American astronauts led by Commander Kate Bowman (Carrie-Ann Moss) is sent on the first manned expedition to Mars. Their task is to investigate the failure of a terraforming project whose mission was to seed Mars with oxygen-producing algae. While Bowman remains on the mothership, a crash landing leaves Gallagher (Val Kilmer), Burchenal (Tom Sizemore), Pettengil (Simon Baker), Santen (Benjamin Bratt) and Chantilas (Terence Stamp) stranded on Mars. With oxygen running out and their exploration robot malfunctioning Bowman defies orders to return to Earth and attempts a rescue mission.
The movie centers on the above mentioned run-of-the-mill space team, but when things begin to go wrong, a certain robot is the real star of the film.
AMEE (Autonomous Mapping Evaluation and Evasion) is the next best thing to a commando robot dog. The sleek, ominous robot is on loan from the military (uh oh!), it is very cool, a unique extremely flexible design.
AMEE was designed for the U.S. Marine Corps but was loaned to the MARS-1 expedition in the late 21st Century to assist with navigation on the ground. The robot is designed for scouting and guerilla warfare. It has the appropriate tactical programming and sensor packages including an onboard GPS, it is extremely swift, cunning and agile.
To further its reconnaissance abilities, AMEE has a deployable rotary-wing aerial drone that it can launch from its back. Once in flight, the drone transmits sensor information back to AMEE, giving the robot a bird’s-eye view of the area.
AMEE usually walks on all fours but can stand on its hind or forward legs. AMEE’s movements are extremely fluid, taking advantage of its universal joint articulation. While inactive, AMEE will fold itself into a compacted cube for easy storage.