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Slideshow: What Does the Future Hold for Man & Machine?
12/18/2012

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The iCub is the humanoid robot developed at IIT as part of the EU project RobotCub and subsequently adopted by more than 20 laboratories worldwide. It has 53 motors that move the head, arms, hands, waist, and legs, using accelerometers and gyroscopes. It can see and hear; and it has the sense of proprioception (body configuration). The main goal is to study cognition through the implementation of a humanoid robot the size of a three-year-old child.  (Source: icub.org)
The iCub is the humanoid robot developed at IIT as part of the EU project RobotCub and subsequently adopted by more than 20 laboratories worldwide. It has 53 motors that move the head, arms, hands, waist, and legs, using accelerometers and gyroscopes. It can see and hear; and it has the sense of proprioception (body configuration). The main goal is to study cognition through the implementation of a humanoid robot the size of a three-year-old child.
(Source: icub.org)

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William K.
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Mexican laborers
William K.   2/2/2013 10:20:00 PM
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If my company pays the laborers in their Mexican plant more than those people can  earn anywhere else in that area, how is that hurting those folks? Certainly it may be exploiting them, but if they can't earn that much anywhere else, how is it hurting them? Also, if they are being paid more than others pay them, why should they consider joining a union, and what would it do for them?

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: The robotic danger
Ann R. Thryft   2/1/2013 11:46:19 AM
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William, I found your potential scenario intriguing, and, sorry to say, believable. I now have a better idea of what's behind some of the comments you've made elsewhere about robots getting out of control. I also still don't get why the military was dumb enough to use Microsoft anywhere, but that's a different conversation. Your scenario *is* a scary one, and I agree about the STOP button.

Mydesign
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Re: Robots in my future?
Mydesign   1/2/2013 4:21:55 AM
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Warren, thanks for the clarification. In most of the countries their internal issues are forcing citizens to migrate o the neighboring countries. The case is same with Bangladesh/Nepal/Sri Lanka/Myanmar etc in Asian countries

warren@fourward.com
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Re: Robots in my future?
warren@fourward.com   12/28/2012 10:44:50 AM
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You are correct of course, but there are distinct possibilities, all of which are slim:

1.  Our country could enforce our border laws (no laughing!)

2.  The corrupt Mexican government could clean up its act, utilize Mexico's vast resources for the benefit of its citizens and thus create jobs at home (more laughing).

3.  They could unionize (which means they would have no demand any more for their services)

4.  The world could end making it all moot.

 

 

Mydesign
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Re: Robots in my future?
Mydesign   12/28/2012 5:22:51 AM
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Warren, you mean Mexican labors are cheaper than their Chinese counterparts. Since they are unskilled and unorganized labors, you can avail their service at a cheaper cost. Once they becomes get organized, there after they won't be so cheap.

Cabe Atwell
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Re: MAN AND MACHINE
Cabe Atwell   12/26/2012 5:38:15 PM
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People die due to robotic accidents all the time. And simplistic automation, probably even more so. I think robotic. However, these early robot companions probably will not have the ability to kill anyone. Or will they?

C

See below



 

bobjengr
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MAN AND MACHINE
bobjengr   12/26/2012 1:56:34 PM
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These comments are fascinating.   When I think of a robotic system I don't think of "Robby" or the "Terminator".    These "near-human" examples are simply worthless.  To me a dedicated robotic system is one that facilitates moving component "A" from location one to location two without the back breaking work expended in times gone by.  These are not thinking, feeling machines but devices that serve a utilitarian purpose and controlled by good solid computer code.  We have had examples of robotic medical devices used for surgical procedures.  This is great technology and can ease suffering if used properly.    I'm all for that but, the last thing I need is sympathy or tears from a hunk of metal. 

William K.
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Re: The robotic danger
William K.   12/21/2012 2:34:45 PM
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Presently industrial robots are in cages, that is true and that is why. BUT in the future we are anticipating that the situation will be "robots anong us", and there will not be any such cages. Then comes the real concern that some organization like microsoft will produce an operating system that is so very bloated and huge that it will invariably contain a whole lot of bugs and errors and things that are intrinsicly flawed, similar to their current and past products that need repeated fixes patched in. That is my whole point, in response to the original question. What we can hope for is that all robots will continue to have that big red "STOP" button that kills all motion conmpletely independant of any control software. Not everybody understands the real value of the "ESTOP" function, or how vital that red button is.

ttemple
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Re: The robotic danger
ttemple   12/21/2012 10:25:37 AM
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"think what it could do with an arm having a 5 foot reach and moving 100 inches per second."

 

That's why they put industrial robots in cages.

William K.
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Re: The robotic danger
William K.   12/20/2012 7:10:05 PM
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Charles, it is certainly not am product of immagination by any means. There have been large chunks of "hidden" code located in programs since the early versions of windows. Consider that one early version would produce pictures of the programmers if given the correct word. And that was on an OS that fit on just a very few floppy disks.

So there could certainly be all kinds of functions hidden in the huge chunks of code that we have for safety systems now. Look at Toy Ota and the problems that they have had, and their control system ignores the accelleration mode faults. 

OF course there are processes and procedures for producing good code that is well documented, but that methodology does require a bit more effort and a lot more discipline, and probably a smaller ego as well. 

But my concern was not so much about intentional malware as about the code that reflects a thought process so different from ours that it is intrinsicly dangerous. The same as the code we have now, which does not do anything worse than destroy files and lockup computers. Just think what it could do with an arm having a 5 foot reach and moving 100 inches per second. (typical robot parameters.)

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