[ExI] stealth singularity

spike at rainier66.com spike at rainier66.com
Sat Jun 15 19:23:10 UTC 2019

-----Original Message-----
From: extropy-chat <extropy-chat-bounces at lists.extropy.org> On Behalf Of Stuart LaForge
Subject: Re: [ExI] stealth singularity

Quoting Spike:

> If we go with the notion of a wheelchair manikin for the elderly AD 
> patients, many of them are sight impaired.  This means we don't need 
> to be very sophisticated  with the facial-expression actuators at all.  
> We need a two-axis to bend and rotate the neck, a jaw actuator, an 
> eyebrow actuator and not a heck of a lot more.  From the neck down it 
> is easy (assuming it doesn't have THAT capability.)

There are two alternate ways to go with this. If you are going to try to mimic a human being, it should be as realistic as possible. If you simply want a robot companion, it could be a walking talking teddy bear or other obvious robot. But if you try for realism and fall short, you wind up in the uncanny valley and could easily creep grandma out...

Stuart LaForge


Oh good point Stuart and a path to success as a bonus.

Plenty of the current very old might remember the old Howdy Doody show.  We could easily rig 

1)  a Howdy Doody ventriloquist dummy (350 sheckels)
2)  perhaps six of actuators (two rotational, four linear) (about 300 doubloons):


3)  a light-duty wheelchair (70 clams):


4) an Alexa microphone/speaker arrangement (75 simoleons):


5) Low-level ChromeBook-ish processor so that it can be entirely self-contained or Wifi-enabled (100 spondulicks):


We are safely on the other side of uncanny valley from us and still under 900 bucks worth of hardware.  Now if we can create software that doesn't get too crazy sophisticated and get that (possibly tricky) six actuators assembly labor cost (down to an hour per unit?) we can perhaps still hit the magic 3 digit numbers, assuming high volume purchases on all components.  Alternative, go with a four-actuator Howdy with only jaw, eyes in two axes and eyebrows, shoot for a two hundred guinea dummy.

I would think the total cost to manufacture needs to be well under 1k, so that the retail price is 1400-1500 range price point.

Stuart you are a business guy, ja?  Does this look like a feasible opportunity?  It kinda does to me too.


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