What a cute little dog.
Little fur ball.
Ready to play.
Love for the family.
A companion and friend.
(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
Really liked this robot (Cubebot) in the store.
Love the colors and that you can change the pose in all different ways.
This robot is pretty darn cute!
It’s funny in this sitting position though.
Just want to say:
Don’t just sit there, do something!
Probably not that long before robots will be all over the place.
We’ll wish for just a little privacy from the darn things, just like from our 24/7 computer gadgets that we can’t let go of now.
Yes, we’re hopelessly dependent on the technology–it’s so helpful and we love it, but we can’t turn it off.
They won’t be sitting for long.
Robots–big and small, alone and in swarms, male and female, strong and intricate, smart and simple, worker and homemaker, doer and helper, companion and lover, where will it stop–it won’t. 😉
(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
Pew Research reports that by 2025, “Robotic sex partners will be commonplace.”
While I certainly understand loving (new helpful) technology, actually making love to a machine is taking things a little too far.
Even with great advances in artificial intelligence (AI), a robot can be nothing more than an artificial partner…a humanoid is not a human!
Despite portrayals in the movie Her (2013) of a nerdy writer who falls in love with his life-like operating system, the reality of human and machine love is more a desperate call for companionship and understanding than a real connection of equals–physically, intellectually, emotionally, and spiritually.
While a computer may be programmed to say the things you want to hear, to laugh at your jokes, and even to succumb to your advances, love cannot be programmed or even artificially learned.
The complex dynamics between two real people locked-in the emotional roller coaster of life with its ups and downs, pulling together and pushing apart, of shared experiences, challenges, and conflicts, can only be met head on with a best friend, soulmate, diametric opposite, and at the same time congruent equal.
Only another human being can love you and be your love.
A machine, however beautiful designed, charming, and learning of you, can be just a poor surrogate for the sad person screaming out for connection in a large lonely world. 😉
(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
Jeff Bezos of Amazon is one very smart guy and when he announces that he is interested in drones delivering your next online order that makes for a lot of grandstanding.
But really how is a dumb drone delivering an order of diapers or a book so exciting.
Aside from putting a lot of delivery people at USPS, UPS, and FedEx out of work, what does the consumer get out of it?
Honestly, I don’t care if if the delivery comes by Zike-Bike, Crunk-Car, Zumble-Zay, Bumble-Boat, or a Gazoom, as Dr. Seuss would say–I just care that it gets here fast, safely, and cheaply.
Will a drone be able to accomplish those things, likely–so great, send the drone over with my next order, but this doesn’t represent the next big technological leap.
It doesn’t give us what the real world of robotics in the future is offering: artificial intelligence, natural language processing, augmentation of humans, or substitution by robots altogether, to do things stronger, faster, and more precisely, and even perhaps companionship to people.
Turning surveillance and attack drones into delivery agents is perhaps a nice gesture to make a weapon into an everyday service provider.
And maybe the Octocopters even help get products to customers within that holy grail, one day timeframe, that all the retailers are scampering for.
It’s certainly a great marketing tool–because it’s got our attention and we’re talking about it.
But I’ll take a humanoid robot sporting a metallic smile that can actually interact with people, solve problems, and perform a multitude of useful everyday functions–whether a caregiver, a bodyguard, or even a virtual friend (e.g. Data from Star Trek)–over a moving thingamajig that Dr. Seuss foresaw for Marvin K. Mooney. 😉
The Wall Street Journal asks “Is it Time for Smartwatches?”
With the arrival of the first generation of smartwatches–Samsung Galaxy Gear, Pebble, and Sony Smartwatch–we have hit the rock bottom in innovate and design thinking.
These watches look cheap–flimsy plastic or ultra-thin aluminum or even stainless doesn’t cut it as a fashion statement when larger and substantial is in.
The screens are too small to be user-centric–let along there being any room for a physical or soft keyboard.
You can’t really read on it and you can’t type on it (any significant form of email, texting)–except by voice command. Ah, let me talk into my wrist, no!
Also, for videos or gaming, the small rectangular screens aren’t of any useful function–how much of Madonna’s new wild getup can you see or how far can you fling that angry bird on your wrist?
Downloading music on the Gear, uh, also no.
Taking photos with a 1.9 megapixel camera on the Galaxy Gear at a time when the 8 megapixels on the iPhone is running way short is good for maybe a James Bond, but not anyone else.
Plus for smartwatches like the Gear, you still need to pair it with a companion smartphone for it to work, so you now have added expense (between about $150 for the Pebble and $299 for the Gear smartwatch) with no significant added benefit.
For the Gear, you also have a separate charger because the watch only has a battery life of about a day, while for the Pebble and Sony Smartwatch 2, you have between half a week to a week.
And believe it or not, the Galaxy Gear is not compatible with their own Galaxy S4 smartphone–oh, so very smart.
My 16-year old daughter said, “If they had this 10 years ago maybe, but now, who needs it!”
No, Google Glass has it right–concept yes, fashion still to be worked out–and the smartwatches for now, have it wrong, wrong, wrong.
If you buy it, you’ve bought yourself a very dumb watch.
Maybe the iWatch can save the day? 😉
(Source Photo: here with attribution to Nathan Chantrell)
This new robot named Baxter, by Rethink Robots, is practically being touted as the greatest thing since Swiss cheese–“allowing our people to use their minds more than their hands”–but this demonstration video shows a clumsy and awkward robot instead.
Bloomberg BusinessWeek (18 September 2012) actually calls it a “huge disappointment” and I’ve got to agree.
The product manager in video calls Baxter–developed with $62 million over 5 years–“easy,” “complaint,” and “collaborative,” but unfortunately Baxter, the robot, comes off looking anything but as he slowly and laboriously tries to pick up and move items from one location to another, and the product manager pulls his arms and pocks at his screen/face to program it.
While I am a huge fan of robotics and see their potential to transform our society–where robots can becomes surrogates for humans in everything from work to even odd companionship, I do not see the breakthrough here by Rethink Robots–except in the affordability of this robot to be used in manufacturing for only $22,000 a unit.
What I do like about Baxter is that it is generally a good-looking device–with a solid looking grey base and long 9 foot wingspan red stretch arms. I even sort of like the eyes and brows giving it a humanoid nature, but the quirky and flimsy looking red screen hanging off the main body looks chinsy.
Also, if the robot is so “friendly,” you’d almost expect it to be on wheels and mobile with the ability to speak, so that it could more genuinely interact with others, but it does not.
Baxter is the brainchild of one of the pioneers of the Roomba vacuum–another toyish device that I wouldn’t spend a dime on.
Maybe, the way to look at it is that we need to take baby steps before we get the real iRobots coming to us–and hopefully that day will come soon.