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Thoughts Control Avatar-Like Robot

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naperlou
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No need to be there
naperlou   9/27/2012 8:37:20 AM
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Wow, Ann, you don't even have to be there to do something.  I can imagine a lot of uses, as you mention, for this technology.  It is really something futuristic and shows the tremendous progress in understanding how we work.

TJ McDermott
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Re: No need to be there
TJ McDermott   9/27/2012 10:39:20 AM
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One problem that will need to be solved is that of operator distraction.  If adverse things can happen when a distracted operator is actually hands on with a machine, imagine what could happen with one controlled only by thoughts.

Beth Stackpole
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Re: No need to be there
Beth Stackpole   9/27/2012 11:44:33 AM
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Good point, TJ, but still pretty amazing stuff. It's scary how much closer we are to the stuff of sci-fi movies becoming a not so distant reality.

TJ McDermott
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TJ McDermott   9/27/2012 11:49:28 AM
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Oh, I agree, it is simply amazing stuff.  I wasn't belittling the technology, just exploring a hurdle.

The most significant problem facing science fiction authors is that they don't predict far enough out.

Gene Roddenberry's Enterprise had hints of a computer tablet the captain signed, and pocket sized communicators.  That was supposed to be 200 years in the future.  Instead, we have them now.

I heard a news article today about warp drive, that it may not be complete fantasy.  Best guess is that it will be doughnut shaped.  Go figure!

Ann R. Thryft
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Ann R. Thryft   9/27/2012 12:00:36 PM
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TJ, that's a good point. OTOH, the robot only recognizes, and responds to, specific thoughts it's been programmed for. So if it gets thoughts it doesn't understand, nothing will happen. The potential danger will depend on the robot's size, abilities, and what it's doing.

Ann R. Thryft
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Ann R. Thryft   9/27/2012 12:01:51 PM
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I agree about the sc i-fi reality (again!). There are several different research projects that have focused on thought control of robots, including this one:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QRt8QCx3BCo

Rob Spiegel
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Re: No need to be there
Rob Spiegel   9/27/2012 3:00:44 PM
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Wow. Amazing technology, Ann. I'd hate to see this fall into the hands or those wishing to do harm. I guess that's just a matter of time.

Ann R. Thryft
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Ann R. Thryft   9/27/2012 3:17:21 PM
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I know what you mean, Rob. But so far, this technology only tells robots to make simply body movements that the "sender" thinks about. I suppose it could eventually be extended to firing a gun or some other wartime function. OTOH, we're already doing remote bombing without thought control.

gsmith120
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gsmith120   9/27/2012 4:02:26 PM
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Nice article Ann.  I like reading about all the advancements in robots.  They sure have come a long way.  Sci-fi channel comes to life.  I can really see a lot of good use for this robot. 

Dave Palmer
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Re: No need to be there
Dave Palmer   9/27/2012 6:08:08 PM
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@Ann: Great article on an interesting topic.  I wonder if this technology could be used to help people with disabilities? (Kind of like Sam Worthington's character in Avatar).

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