Robotics, where art thou headed?

Robotics, where art thou headed?

Postby Markus Waibel on 28 May 2008, 17:34

Pleo at Seaworld - one of the most fascinating robot vids I've seen: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7i_HN_Twdds
Pleo at Maker Fair - what a contrast: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=95MAyWE0ERk

Makes me wonder where we'll be in 20 years. Guess that's up to all of us.
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Re: Robotics, where art thou headed?

Postby abey on 04 Jun 2008, 15:02

This feels strange. First vid, I'm like, wtf, that's a stupid mechanical puppet. But the second one... i mean... don't show that to children, esp. if they own one! Great fun tho :)

I wonder if, in the long run, when robots will take more and more social importance, they'll be some ethical constructs that will make robot fighting as 'socially unfit' as the gladiator business is today...
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Re: Robotics, where art thou headed?

Postby Johnny 5 on 09 Feb 2009, 13:42

Agreed, this is strange.

Since vids can now be inlined, here they are:

Pleo at Seaworld (currently 84,399 views):


Pleo at Maker Fair (currently 130,851 views):
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Re: Robotics, where art thou headed?

Postby Markus Waibel on 10 Feb 2009, 12:22

... also compare a recent Wired article on the topic where Daniel Ross writes:

I've seen videos of the incineration of T.M.X. Elmo (short for Tickle Me Extreme); they made me feel vaguely uncomfortable. Part of me wanted to laugh—Elmo giggled absurdly through the whole ordeal—but I also felt sick about what was going on. Why? I hardly shed a tear when the printer in Office Space got smashed to bits. Slamming my refrigerator door never leaves me feeling guilty. Yet give something a couple of eyes and the hint of lifelike abilities and suddenly some ancient region of my brain starts firing off empathy signals. And I don't even like Elmo. How are kids who grow up with robots as companions going to handle this?


As the article goes on,
John Sosoka, CTO of Ugobe, which makes the eerily lifelike robot dinosaur Pleo (also tortured on Web video). "The point isn't whether it's an issue for the creature. It's what does it do to us."


I think Sosoka has his finger right on the point. But not everyone agrees, including the people who built Elmo:

Keep soul-searching to a minimum and recognize that you're buying a product, pure and simple. "This is a toy," Fisher-Price's Sirard says. "There shouldn't be any laws about how you use your toys."
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