Image by: carolclarinet
As we march into the future, you can begin to hear the rumblings of discontent amongst some members of our party. I mean, when are the robots going to get here already?
We have came a long way in the space of 20 years with mobile communication, the internet and crazy little machines trundling around the surface of Mars. But still some people feel the need to ask when it is exactly that we will all have robot butlers and live like they do in the film AI?
Well the answer is…no one is sure! But you should pay more attention to the advances in robotic technology, as we really are getting closer every day.
So here are 7 amazing robots that are currently setting the pace.
ASIMO (Advanced Step on Innovative MObility) is the elder statesman of the advances in robotic technology. Originally released to the world in 2000, ASIMO can run, jump and hop on one foot, all movements that are incredibly complex to perform.
ASIMO is designed to be a caretaker (or potential butler?), can handle objects with care and use sign language.
Like all early pioneers, ASIMO has been criticised for being an expensive waste of time, but has defied its critics to become the most recognisable real robot on the planet.
Coming from Boston Dynamics, the Legged Squad Support System (LS3) is a four-legged walking robot designed to carry up to 400lbs. It is designed so that it can follow a designated leader without the need for manual steering as well as get to certain pre-determined locations on its own using GPS and a whole host of expensive sensors.
The LS3 is an upgrade of the Big Dog robot, and a video of it can be found here.
Another Boston Dynamics creation, PETMAN is designed to test clothes designed for chemical protection. As such, it will be the first anthropomorphic robot that truly moves like a human, while being able to find its own balance walking, crawling and performing other movements that are potentially damaging to clothes.
Google’s car with no driver
This is one to get really excited about. This car uses cloud technology, lasers, cameras and radars to navigate the roads without the need for a human driver. The best bit is that because all of the cars will be linked by the cloud, they will constantly be adjusting each other’s speed and routes, which will help to minimise congestion and accidents.
The XOS 2 is a robotic exoskeleton for soldiers… That’s right – a robotic exoskeleton for soldiers allowing them to lift incredibly heavy equipment. If you have seen the Alien films or Avatar you will know exactly what I am talking about.
Eureqa is the problem solving software that famously came up with Newtonian physics’ basic law of motion after analyzing the swing of a pendulum for an hour or two! Eureqa is now being used to solve problems in Biology.
(The nightmare scenario here is that this technology is merged with voice recognition software and advanced call centre technology to create a hideously efficient, yet completely emotionless, customer service experience)
Kismet has been around since the 1990s and was developed by MIT. Able to perform human -ike vocalisations, facial expressions as well as limited motor capabilities, it is possible a face like this that could be serving you your cornflakes in the morning.
There you go, do you feel better about humanity’s progress towards robot slaves (who will of course eventually become too intelligent and destroy us all) now? Give your thoughts below…
James Duvalis an IT specialist who still dreams of having a robot friend to pal around with one day. When not writing technology blogs for companies such as Vicorp, James like to blaze through the countryside on his Motorbike or play Xbox in the dark.