HOME  |  NEWS  |  BLOGS  |  MESSAGES  |  FEATURES  |  VIDEOS  |  WEBINARS  |  INDUSTRIES  |  FOCUS ON FUNDAMENTALS
  |  REGISTER  |  LOGIN  |  HELP
News
Mechatronics
'Marilyn Monrobots' Gain Acceptance Through Humor
6/24/2011

< Previous   Image 2 of 2   

Roboticist Heather Knight brought her robot, Data, to the Freescale Technology Forum  this week in an effort to bridge the 'uncanny valley.' 
 Source: Freescale Semiconductor
Roboticist Heather Knight brought her robot, Data, to the Freescale Technology Forum
this week in an effort to bridge the "uncanny valley."
Source: Freescale Semiconductor

< Previous   Image 2 of 2   

Return to Article

View Comments: Oldest First|Newest First|Threaded View
<<  <  Page 2/2
Alexander Wolfe
User Rank
Blogger
U.S. Robotics Leadership
Alexander Wolfe   6/26/2011 6:29:57 AM
NO RATINGS
What jumps out here is CMU as an incubator of robotics startups. The catchy name, Marilyn Monrobots Labs, distracted me from the real story, which is tHeather Knight's company as an interesting and potentially significant robotics company of the type which could put the U.S. in a leadership position as this field gains ground. (I should state that I'm talking about still-young field of humanoid robots, not the more mature arena of industrial robots.) In humanoid robots, most of the stuff I've read about in the past few years has come out of Japan, most notably Honda's Asimo. I'd add iRobots to my argument about important U.S. companies. iRobots spun out of MIT in 1990. It makes the Roomba vacuum-cleaner robot. Not technically humanoid, but I'd certainly put it in that class because of its in-the-home application. Paging Woody Allen's "Sleeper"...

Jack Rupert, PE
User Rank
Platinum
Re: U.S. Robotics Leadership
Jack Rupert, PE   6/26/2011 3:28:26 PM
NO RATINGS
Alex, I agree with what you're saying.  It seems like a lot of these breakthroughs in the humanoid area at least are in the area of "fun and games" without any real world application.  Now maybe the goal is, as suggested by the headline, to be solely a phsychological tool to get people used to dealing with non-humans, but I think the drawback there is that they won't be taken seriously in real applications.

Beth Stackpole
User Rank
Blogger
Re: U.S. Robotics Leadership
Beth Stackpole   6/28/2011 7:05:30 AM
NO RATINGS
Funny you mention CMU and robotics incubation. President Obama actually announced a  new robotics initiative at CMU last week as part of his unveiling of the Advanced Manufacturing Partnership, an initiative between government, industry, and unversities to invest in technologies designed to jumpstart manufacturing. One leg of the announcement was a joint effort by the National Science Foundation, NASA, NIH and the Department of Argiculture to pool $70 million to fund development around next-generation robots. It will be interesting to see what comes out of that partnership.

DickN
User Rank
Iron
Anthropomorphism in technology
DickN   6/28/2011 8:01:08 PM
NO RATINGS
This sort of thing has been tried before, albeit perhaps not with real moving parts.  I'm thinking of the irrepressible Microsoft paperclip.  Well, actually I did repress him - I turned him off.  Dangit!  "him?"  See what I mean about anthropomorphism?  We must be getting close to that GPP (Genuine People Personalities) feature Douglas Adams wrote about in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.

Dave Palmer
User Rank
Platinum
Re: U.S. Robotics Leadership ,
Dave Palmer   6/28/2011 9:29:45 PM
NO RATINGS
Beth, it would be interesting to know more about the Advanced Manufacturing Partnership. I know many engineers who are ideologically opposed to government spending in general, and I personally have qualms about corporate welfare. At the same time, I think that strategic government support of manufacturing innovation is a smart idea which may pay off many times the investment of taxpayer money in terms of benefit to the overall economy. I also think that technological advancement is a worthy goal in itself, at least as much as the exploration of space, scientific investigation, or art. If we are willing to spend taxpayer dollars on art museums, scientific research, and the space program because we recognize that these things, independent of their economic value, are important to the society we want to have, then why shouldn't we be willing to spend taxpayer money to advance the art of manufacturing? It would be great to have a guide for how companies can get linked up with this type of government programs. I think many companies are not aware of the possibilities of this kind,of partnership with the public sector.

Beth Stackpole
User Rank
Blogger
Re: U.S. Robotics Leadership ,
Beth Stackpole   6/28/2011 10:00:23 PM
NO RATINGS
Dave,

 

I'm in the process of reporting/writing a piece on the initiative, so stay tuned. In the interim, check out the White House press release at http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2011/06/24/president-obama-launches-advanced-manufacturing-partnership. Be sure to let me know what you think once read the Design News article.

Charles Murray
User Rank
Blogger
Cost of labor
Charles Murray   7/1/2011 11:01:42 AM
NO RATINGS
I think we're still pretty far from having to worry about humanoid robots affecting the cost of labor. As Alex points out, even the Roomba and the RoboMower type robots don't have human qualities...yet. In the near future, I think the most successful robots will still be those that don't mess with the "uncanny valley."

Dave Palmer
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Anthropomorphism in technology
Dave Palmer   7/1/2011 1:10:23 PM
NO RATINGS
The mention of the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy reminded me of Marvin the Paranoid Android, which reminded me of this recent article in IEEE Spectrum.

It describes some fascinating research using artificial intelligence to try to better understand schizophrenia.  Essentially, the researchers looked at what parameters they needed to change in an AI program in order to get the program to respond like a schizophrenic patient would.  They then tried to relate this to what might happen in an actual schizophrenic brain.  At this point it's just a model, but it's a very compelling one.

<<  <  Page 2/2
Partner Zone
Latest Analysis
Advertised as the "Most Powerful Tablet Under $100," the Kindle Fire HD 6 was too tempting for the team at iFixit to pass up. Join us to find out if inexpensive means cheap, irreparable, or just down right economical. It's teardown time!
The first photos made with a 3D-printed telescope are here and they're not as fuzzy as you might expect. A team from the University of Sheffield beat NASA to the goal. The photos of the Moon were made with a reflecting telescope that cost the research team 100 to make (about $161 US).
At Medical Design & Manufacturing Midwest, Joe Wascow told Design News how Optimal Design prototyped a machine that captures the wing-beat of a duck.
The increased adoption of wireless technology for mission-critical applications has revved up the global market for dynamic electronic general purpose (GP) test equipment. As the link between cloud networks and devices -- smartphones, tablets, and notebooks -- results in more complex devices under test, the demand for radio frequency test equipment is starting to intensify.
Much of the research on lithium-ion batteries is focused on how to make the batteries charge more quickly and last longer than they currently do, work that would significantly improve the experience of mobile device users, as well EV and hybrid car drivers. Researchers in Singapore have come up with what seems like the best solution so far -- a battery that can recharge itself in mere minutes and has a potential lifespan of 20 years.
More:Blogs|News
Design News Webinar Series
10/7/2014 8:00 a.m. California / 11:00 a.m. New York
9/25/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
9/10/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
7/23/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
Quick Poll
The Continuing Education Center offers engineers an entirely new way to get the education they need to formulate next-generation solutions.
Oct 20 - 24, How to Design & Build an Embedded Web Server: An Embedded TCP/IP Tutorial
SEMESTERS: 1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5  |  6


Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.
Next Class: 10/28-10/30 11:00 AM
Sponsored by Stratasys
Next Class: 10/28-10/30 2:00 PM
Sponsored by Gates Corporation
Next Class: 11/11-11/13 2:00 PM
Sponsored by Littelfuse
Learn More   |   Login   |   Archived Classes
Twitter Feed
Design News Twitter Feed
Like Us on Facebook

Sponsored Content

Technology Marketplace

Copyright © 2014 UBM Canon, A UBM company, All rights reserved. Privacy Policy | Terms of Service