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Slideshow: Robots Creeping & Crawling Into New Territory

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bobjengr
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BOTS
bobjengr   5/31/2012 5:16:54 PM
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Ann—fascinating article.    I think it's a little scary what these things can do.  I certainly understand the need to go where human health and safety would be compromised but I'm a little nervous relative to the more clandestine possibilities.  Remember the movie "Minority Report" and the "bots" used to search for the hero (Tom Cruise)?   He's lying there in the tub, under water, to avoid these pesky little devices that will certainly cause his capture and possible death.  (OK so I'm paranoid!)  The mechanical aspects represent just how far engineering has come and how successful y we have mastered emulating "moving things".  I am also fascinated that programming can make these things do what is needed. 

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Robots, creeping and crawling.
Ann R. Thryft   6/1/2012 11:40:24 AM
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William, I think the nature observation app you mention is a good one, even if you meant it as a joke. Although wild animals would definitely notice little machines moving around they would, hopefully, not be attracted to them since they don't smell like food. OTOH, cats large and small like to play with creeping and crawling things, so the smaller robots probably shouldn't be used where the local wildlife includes large cats.

Ann R. Thryft
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Ann R. Thryft   6/1/2012 11:41:25 AM
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bobjengr, Philip K. Dick is one of my favorite science fiction authors, so I guess I'm kind of paranoid, too. Maybe I read and watch too much sci-fi. Anyway, yes I remember Minority Report. There's an awful lot of new tech in that movie. Those 'bots didn't scare me nearly as much as the talking ads. But I know what you mean, and I'm actually conflicted about the 'bots in this slideshow. I don't much like bugs and worms in real life (although I do like snakes) but these machines are fascinating. They attract me because of their amazing design, but they repel me because, well, they're crawly!

William K.
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creeping crawling robots
William K.   6/1/2012 12:45:15 PM
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The first scary robots that I recall are in the book "Farenhite 451", which was about some sort of oppressive government, as I recall. Those robots shot poeple with morphine to capture them. And the robots were quite small, it seems.

The good news, at least so far, is that those who wish to attack us have not yet mastered the technology of robotics, except for remote controlled detonators.

So we now see that for good or bad, the development of various small "robotic things" is changing the world, if we want it or not.

William K.
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Re: Robots, creeping and crawling.
William K.   6/1/2012 12:49:19 PM
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Ann, only the part about the bear in the woods was intended to be funny. On the other hand, small robotic spies should allow for the study of different species in much closer detail than otherwise convenient, or even possible. And that would indeed probably be done with equipment similar to what private snoops would use.

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: creeping crawling robots
Ann R. Thryft   6/1/2012 1:20:29 PM
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William, the first scary robot I remember was Gort, in the original The Day The Earth Stood Still. I was pretty small, so he was pretty scary. Funny, I don't remember the robots in Fahrenheit 451 as scary. That book is about an oppressive government that outlawed books, among other things, and burned them publicly, just like Savonarola did in Italy during the Renaissance.

Rob Spiegel
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Re: creeping crawling robots
Rob Spiegel   6/1/2012 4:44:35 PM
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Robots were not always scary. I remember Robby the Robot as a friendly sort. He was in a couple movies in the 50s. I think one was the Angry Red Planet.

William K.
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Re: creeping crawling robots
William K.   6/1/2012 8:27:07 PM
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Ann, I think that they were called hounds, or dogs, or something like that. They chased people who ran, and sedated them with a morphine injection. They were not a large part of the story. If I can find that book again I will attempt to refresh my recollection of that part. But it was a long time ago that I read it, when it was current. 

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: creeping crawling robots
Ann R. Thryft   6/4/2012 11:42:20 AM
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Rob, you're right of course about the friendly robots in movies. Robby was in Forbidden Planet, that amazing 50s sci-fi movie gem. But he tends to get eclipsed in my memory by all the scary ones. It does seem like robots have gotten mostly scary in movies again.

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: creeping crawling robots
Ann R. Thryft   6/4/2012 11:43:30 AM
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I remember now, they were called hounds. The book was published in 1953, and the movie came out in 1966, which is around the time I read it.

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