DARPA? More Like DERPA–Watch Robots Fail

Okay, if this is the kind of thing we can expect from our aspiring robotic overlords, we may not have to worry too much about Skynet. These are just a few of the epic fails from the DARPA Robotics Challenge. As I’ve said in this space many times: I hate robots. [Read more...]

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Have I Mentioned Lately How Much I Hate Robots?

pen

This is the latest dumb thing no one needs: What a load of nonsense. First, it’s not handwritten. It’s machinewritten, which means even though someone built an elaborate bit of gizmoditry to go through all the trouble of dipping a pen in ink and “writing,” it’s no more personal than running off copies on a [Read More...]

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More Creepy Robots In Your Near Future

jibo

Jibo is being pitched as a new member of the family: the robot slave we all need and want! The first step towards Rosie! Jibo’s creator is Dr. Cynthia Breazeal, director of MIT’s Personal Robots Group. She describes the 6 pound, 11 inch bouncing baby Terminator spy as something that will “support, complement and extend what [Read More...]

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Obama and the Robot

"I, for one, welcome our new robot overlords."

Japan’s obsession with robots is going to doom us all. This is how Skynet begins, with a friendly game of robot soccer. Drudge and some conservative sites are trying to make much of the fact that Obama bowed to the robot, but the robot bowed to him in greeting, so it seems like a reasonable [Read More...]

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All This Machinery Making Modern Music

As an old progressive rock fan, I don’t have any problems with machines making music. If you want to get technical about it, most instruments are machines, so adding new technology doesn’t change things too much. How does a robot band change the equation? Look and listen for yourself. This is Z-Machines: And here’s Compressorhead [Read More...]

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“And Don’t Skimp On the Pâté”

The Mighty Flynn has the original story and Mark Shea has the jokes. Yes, scientists have finally achieved the ultimate in mechanization: vomiting robots: The robot is named Vomiting Larry, and isn’t being used for sight gags, but is helping scientists to better understand the spread of noroviruses, also know as the winter vomiting bug, which can cause projectile vomiting, [Read More...]

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But Will It Have an Austrian Accent?

I’m starting to get fed up with creepy new robots that look like they were designed solely to smash through walls and tear John and Sarah Connor apart piece by piece. DARPA’s Robotics Challenge has yielded this potential Cyberdyne Systems T-101 hunter-killer prototype. It’s called “Pet-Proto” and it’s the work of Boston Dynamics. The critter is [Read More...]

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Your Terrifying Techno-Fascist Quote of the Day

“It is not my belief that an unmanned system will be able to be perfectly ethical in the battlefield, but I am convinced that they can perform more ethically than human soldiers are capable of.” –Ronald Arkin, Georgia Institute of Technology– What’s the man talking about? Autonomous drones: dumb metal programmed by fallible humans to wage a more [Read More...]

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