Heather Knight, a roboticist and founder of Marilyn Monrobots, is trying to bridge the uncanny valley by adding humor to the robotic repertoire. Her robot, Data, can do imitations of Darth Vader, R2D2, and Buzz Lightyear. (Photo courtesy of Freescale Semiconductor.)
Those robots that look human are certainly quite novel, and probably a real source of potential danger. Just as the real animal winds up being thought of in terms of the cartoon creature, ("Bullwinkle Moose"), but in reality is nothing like it, so the human looking robots will be constantly sending the wrong message. This is why industrial robots look like industrial robots: They are far less likely to accidentally rip your head off, which they are really capable of doing, by the way.
So a human looking robot really is a creepy thing, since the actual entity is nothing like the person presented. Probably the most successful application for human looking robots would be in the "Adult entertainment" industry. I am not suggesting that it is a good idea, just pointing out the nature of the problem.
There will come a day, probably in this century, when robots will look and act and may even be indistinguishable in appearances from human beings. Some will be humans reinstantiated as androids by capturing the human connectome and simulating it hardware. Some will be strictly AI androids without human emotions.Some will be smarter than humans and some worker-bee androids will be not so smart but versatile enough to work on assembly lines. We will just have to get used to it because it will happen.
It's only a matter of time that they (the govt) uses robots for that. They can't be any worse than the ones they employ now.
I always thought that the whole problem with being strip searched by the TSA wasn't WHAT they were doing but WHO was doing it. If I could pick my choice of who was going to grope me and the choice was an attractive Asian or Spanish girl (my particular preference) I would stand there long enough to miss my plane if it was necessary for safety of the flying public.
But what happens when they look like Christie Brinkly but perform like a Terminator? Sounds like a cool plot for the Terminator VI (V is being made currently). A very pretty, curvy, girl but; "Underneath, it's a hyper alloy combat chassis-micro processor controlled. Fully Armored. Very tough." She then proceeds to rip the heads off of all the people around her. Per Kyle Reese; "It can't be barganed with; it can't be reasoned with. It doesn't feel pity, remorse, or fear. And it absolutly will not stop, EVER, until you are dead."
Sounds like a Predator drone to me, or one of my old girlfriends. No matter how soft, warm, or pretty they make a robot, they will never be a real woman.
The height/mass ratio undoubtedly creates a problem for humanoid robots. Hey, its a problem for us humanoid humans! But the humanoid robots certainly won't be warm and soft but cold and lumpy.
But, humanoid robots are a must if they are to be accepted and not feared in any society. And if they all just happen to look like Christie Brinkley, then we are on our way to a happy society- and buff!
In a bid to boost the viability of lithium-based electric car batteries, a team at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory has developed a chemistry that could possibly double an EV’s driving range while cutting its battery cost in half.
Using Siemens NX software, a team of engineering students from the University of Michigan built an electric vehicle and raced in the 2013 Bridgestone World Solar Challenge. One of those students blogged for Design News throughout the race.
Robots that walk have come a long way from simple barebones walking machines or pairs of legs without an upper body and head. Much of the research these days focuses on making more humanoid robots. But they are not all created equal.
For industrial control applications, or even a simple assembly line, that machine can go almost 24/7 without a break. But what happens when the task is a little more complex? That’s where the “smart” machine would come in. The smart machine is one that has some simple (or complex in some cases) processing capability to be able to adapt to changing conditions. Such machines are suited for a host of applications, including automotive, aerospace, defense, medical, computers and electronics, telecommunications, consumer goods, and so on. This discussion will examine what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.