Wednesday, January 13, 2010

arms and grippers for Anybot's full scale humanoid teleoperated robot

No matter how interesting it seems, there is something disturbing about teleoperating robots. And the amount of psychiatric problems of people who operate unmanned drones from their clean desks in Las Vegas that are currently killing people in Pakistan definitely testifies to that. Still, the people from Anybots in this movie seem not to be aware of this or concerned about potential large scale consequences of these technologies, when they break out of their niches that they were originally marketed for. My favorite neuroscientist Vilaynur S. Ramachandran has described laughter as "nature's false alarm". In other words, laughter could arise because there is something upsetting, stressing, or dangerous going on, but it just turns out innocent for the people in the current situation. I just can't help being a little bit concerned, especially when seeing the crude responses of the robot, the commentator's words "scary" and "useless", and the people who try to test the robot for its strength. If we're going to play that game with the botpeople it just may turn out to get nasty.

A copy can just never be as good as the original, and full control over any technology is an illusion that will always bite back.

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