The human scaled #RoboApoc

This semi-weekly feature scours the internets for news of the Robot Apocalypse (#RoboApoc). I rate each item on a scale of 1 to Skynet

3po
Still stuck in the past.

When I think of robots (which is often) I think of humanoid robots, you know machines that look human. Maybe it is because of the pop culture robots that shaped my childhood, like C-3PO, the Terminator, or even Transformers.

After humanoid robots I think of robots that function in a human understanding of space and time, meaning robots that relate to the natural and human built world in the same scale we do.

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Robot #Fail? – This week in the #RoboApoc

This is a semi-weekly feature that scours the internets for news of the Robot Apocalypse (#RoboApoc). I rate each item on a scale of 1 to Skynet

 

Hold still, you might feel a pinch.
Hold still, you might feel a pinch.

1. Robot #Fail?  This week everyone in the world reported that robot based bladder surgery isn’t better than human based surgery, it is the same. The #RoboApoc naysayers  are shouting from their mountain tops “See? We were right. No #RoboApoc here.” Really though? To me it seems the predictions around how robots in this particular arena would perform in relation to humans were wrong, but the forward march of the #RoboApoc is clear. Robots performing on par with humans is an advance for robots, these types of advances will continue. Also if robots perform better at particular tasks and cost less than workers who do the same tasks, then guess who wins.

#RoboApoc rating – 6 Robots- 0, Humans – 0.

3d printing + human muscle = biobot
3d printing + human muscle = biobot

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Beetle buildings vs. the Terminator – This week in the #RoboApoc

This is a semi-weekly feature that scours the internets for news of the Robot Apocalypse (#RoboApoc). I rate each item on a scale of 1 to Skynet

1. Handy Hank… the robot. As much as I love talking about robots I love dreaming about buildings. Buildings of all sorts. I’m especially interested in alternative buildings, odd buildings, rebel buildings. Thanks to the weirdos at the University of Stuttgart’s Institute for Computational Design, my two loves started dating in the form of a pavilion in the shape of a flying beetle. The building itself is not a robot (not yet) but it was built by a robot. Unlike humans, the robot can weave composite materials into structurally sound shapes.

#RoboApoc Rating – 5 While this innovation has the potential to put builders out of work, there still seems to be a bunch of human labor in the creative concepting, the design, and even the construction. And this building is just awesome. I am thinking about the potential to construct lightweight sustainable housing that could be used as we flea the coasts when the water rises, or even currently in disaster response situations. 

Continue reading “Beetle buildings vs. the Terminator – This week in the #RoboApoc”

This Week in the #RoboApoc

This is a semi-weekly feature that scours the internets for news of the coming Robot Apocalypse (#RoboApoc). I rate each item on a scale of 1 to Skynet

1. Mind Reading AC –  This week I had the pleasure of spending a lot of time in the Apple Store, Tekserve, and Best Buy when my intrepid partner in crime (my computer) gave up the ghost in the machine.

This AC can read your mind.
This AC can read your mind

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This week in the #RoboApoc*

Liz Stinson over at Wired reported on self-assembling robots that create furniture on demand. The basic idea is that these module and mobile robots can self-assemble into different forms or furniture, and can even create supplements to existing furniture.

It is fun to fantasize about what this means for personal use: small robots attaching themselves to my coffee table so it can serve drinks at my next dinner party (how nouveau bourgie, a butler without all the classist implications); my robot furniture rearranging itself  into futuristic configurations that are both beautiful and functional (IKEA beware).

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