Steve Carper is a Future Historian, researching how the dazzling future that dominated the Golden Age of science fiction was created—starting with the technological frenzy of the late 19th century.
Steve writes a bi-weekly robot column at BlackGate.com and his latest book, published in June 2019, is Robots in American Popular Culture. This book examines society’s reactions to robots and androids such as Robby, Rosie, Elektro, Sparko, Data, WALL-E, C-3PO and the Terminator in popular culture.
Steve and I discussed his new book, covering some of the most famous robots of fiction and then all aspects of robot technology in our culture: robots as servants, enemies, lovers, children, successors and doubles. Where will the evolution of robots take our society next? Klaatu barada nikto.
From FastCompany: “A hospital introduced a robot to help nurses. They didn’t expect it to be so popular”
That means nurses don’t even have to remember certain tasks that used to be part of their daily job, which is a meaningful way to reduce their cognitive load. “They don’t have to think about telling the robot to do things,” says [Vivian] Chu, who has a PhD in robotics from Georgia Tech.
This kind of optimized offloading will help workers focus on being even more productive. That is, if employers figure that out. [Image credit: FastCompany.]
Big Think writes:
- Human-like robots may creep us, at first, but roboticists believe the more like us they appear, the more likely we’ll feel comfortable around them.
- Some studies suggest that we could develop feelings for robots, despite them not being human.
- As the loneliness epidemic continues, such robots may fill certain people’s social voids.
This is not so crazy. After all, I heard about a guy who married his iPhone.
This episode is all about robots! Apple robots, military robots, delivery repots, preacher robots, manufacturing robots, and self driving car robots! Bryan Chaffin is joined by guest host John Martellaro to deep into what’s happening with robots today and what they expect for robots in the future. Put your SciFi futurist cap on for this one. They also talk about foldable phones, or as they like to think of it, the netbook of 2019.
From boingboing: “‘Under what circumstances and to what extent would adults be willing to sacrifice robots to save human lives?’ That was the question posed by researchers at Radboud University in Nijmegen in the Netherlands and Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet (LMU) in Munich.” The results have implications for how we’ll design robots with apparent human feelings.
It’s Robot Wednesday! Charlotte Henry and John Martellaro discuss robotic car parks and the future of robotics, with host Kelly Guimont
LONDON – Gatwick airport is to trial the use of valet parking robots for three months, starting in August. It is hoped that the French-made devices will make parking before a holiday easier and less stressful. The Evening Standard, London’s evening paper, reported that trials are also taking place in other European airports – Paris, Lyon and Düsseldorf. An earlier 5-month trial at Paris’s Charles de Gaulle was deemed successful.
Under a trial which begins in August, travellers will leave their car in a dedicated drop-off zone and summon a droid, booked by app, on a touch-screen. As the customers are shuttled to the terminal, the battery-powered robot rolls up, slides a forklift-style ramp under the chassis, and uses military-grade GPS to ferry it to a secure bay — all without needing the keys.
Health monitoring the data-rich body is becoming big business. Apple is in the thick of it. That will change the face of the company.
Robot technology often invokes sophisticated mechanisms, in order to perform a task, that mimic those of living creatures. When done right, the visual effect can be startling, even creepy. Mark Serrels writes: “Meet “Salto-1P” a robot being designed by the Biomimetic Millisystems lab at Berkeley, University of California. The work is being supported by an Army Research Office Grant, which makes me wonder if one of these things is gonna kill me one day.” Better check under your bed again, Mark.
Anki has a promotion video out for Vector, the company’s new personal robot. And the good news is that Vector won’t destroy humanity. Though, to be fair, what else would a robot say, unless, of course, it had been programmed not to lie…OK, I’m off track. This is a funny and well made spot. I supported Vector on Kickstarter and am waiting for delivery now (by October 9th!). This pet robot looks fun, and Anki is doing some really cool stuff. Now that the Kickstarter is over, Vector is available for preorder for $212.49. That’s a little more than Kickstarter, but still less than the planned retail price of $249.99. Check it out, and enjoy the promo video.
Consumer Reports compared five mobile payment systems and found big differences in security and privacy practices.
Here’s a thumbnail sketch of Apple’s journey to a trillion dollar valuation — and why it matters to investors and customers.
A recent article starts to genuinely approach the real danger of Artificial Intelligence (AI). We’ll have zero visibility into how it thinks and its internal cultural values.
The battlefield amongst the tech giants is constantly shifting. Each is innovating while looking for weaknesses in the competitors. A formal Apple partnership with Microsoft would change the balance of power.
Dr. Kiki Sanford is a neurophysiologist, a popular science communicator and creator of This Week in Science (TWIS) podcast and radio show. This is her fourth appearance here. In this episode, we chat about some some very interesting recent topics on TWIS. 1) Researchers showed that mini human brains implanted into mouse brains survived and functionally integrated into the host tissue. 2) Magnetoreception in birds is possible thanks to a protein in their eyes. They may actually have a heads-up display in their eyes for the Earth’s magnetic field. 3) Amazon’s announcement of its Vesta family robot project. 4) A new, non-invasive patch is being developed to allow diabetics to monitor their gluscose levels. Kiki has a special way of inspiring us to learn about science, so don’t miss BGM’s most popular guest.
Our popular culture carries with it themes, pseudo-science, and technical fears. Woe to any company whose product missteps into that quagmire.
Apple’s educational coding environment Swift Playgrounds 2 for iPad is available now with support for subscribing to playgrounds from third-party developers and additional robots.
Apple’s free Hour of Code classes for kids in its retail stores runs December 4th through 10th, and registration is open now. The sessions are open to kids age 12 and older and uses Swift Playgrounds on the iPad to teach coding concepts with robots. The company’s Hour of Code curriculum is available for free online, too, so schools can take advantage of Apple’s materials, too. You can sign up your kids for sessions at the special Today at Apple Hour of Code website.
From every quarter, details are emerging about the amazing nature of the iPhone X.
The new Apple TV 4K ushers in a new era of TV technology for Apple customers, so it’s time to learn some new tech.