[extropy-chat] Video of Fighting Humanoid Robots!

Emlyn emlynoregan at gmail.com
Mon Aug 23 03:49:12 UTC 2004

On Sun, 22 Aug 2004 20:42:23 -0700 (PDT), Adrian Tymes
<wingcat at pacbell.net> wrote:
> --- Emlyn <emlynoregan at gmail.com> wrote:
> > I'd like to see how far this stuff ("toy" humanoid
> > robots) is
> > informing the area of medical prostheses for the
> > disabled. If I were a
> > quadriplegic or similar, I'd be looking at these
> > 'bots and rubbing my
> > hands together (urr) with glee. And the timeframes
> > that Adrian
> > mentions seem realistic; I'd be thinking I could be
> > mobile again
> > within a decade.
> So far?  Not much.  Robots that can walk are
> relatively new, and the human brain can already
> handle the software needs.  I'd say the other way
> around is more likely at this time: good arms and legs
> have been developed for prostheses; these can also be
> used, with some programming, for androids.
> When the entire shell is ready, then we may see some
> wonder if quadriplegics could make use of "walking
> wheelchairs".
> > We'll know we're moving in the right direction when
> > we see the ads for
> > the televised grudge match... "This Saturday Night
> > on MechWars...
> > Reeve vs Hawking! See them slug it out 'bot style,
> > in the Beauty vs
> > Brains contest of the millenium!"
> Better: when field trials begin for remote-controlled
> androids to replace infantry, which have been the core
> of Western armed forces from before their formal
> classification as "infantry" right up to the present.
> (Tanks may rule the field, planes the sky, and ships
> the sea...but by themselves, they all suck at taking
> cities, which is usually the ultimate objective.)
> Or when you can buy an anthropomorphic robot for
> conducting high-dexterity tasks in high-hazard areas
> (where the main reason not to send a human is that the
> human might get injured or killed, but either the task
> is known to be too complex for simple robots, or the
> task is not known and requires a highly adaptable
> tool...and humans have all kinds of practice adapting
> their bodies to various tasks).

A dumb question... all of this work (or the great majority) seems to
be happening in Japan. Does that sound right? I know they want
humanoid robots to care for their aging population, and they seem to
be well on track. Is anyone else bothering to make these things?

Regarding the Japanese efforts, I get the impression that the money
coming from the top to build a robot based service industry is being
met with engineering excellence at the bottom, coming out of a very
pro-robot popular culture. It seems like a combination of manga and
xenophobia may well have produced the leading edge in robotics.


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