Can you say, “Surrogates”?

Oh sure, this is how it starts…

Thought-controlled Robot Avatars Provide New Help for the Disabled

From the article:

In the end, robotic avatars could become part of everyday society, as accepted today as a wheelchair and handicapped parking. Sawyer says the only gating factor is whether society accepts them.

I feel like I’ve seen the future of this technology.  It seriously is pretty remarkable, though.  I commend the scientific community for making this sort of advancement.
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Robotic Octopus?! TERROR OF THE DEEP!!!

THIS IS HORRIFYING!  Robot octopus?!  I don’t even want to fathom coming across something like this in the water!

Robotic Octopus Tentacle Wants to Become Robotic Octopus

From the article:

The Octopus Project has one 17-inch prototype working and it plans to deliver a full robotic octopus to the EC before its 2013 deadline. Just seven more tentacles to go.

And for more information on this aquatic robotic nightmare-inducing abomination of science, click the follow-up link in the article:

‘Octobot’ Could Save Your Life

Although the Octopus Project didn’t start with specific application goals, such a robot could have a number of uses. Laschi said that a team of British surgeons are interested in applying their technology to an endoscope that turns from a soft tool into a hard one that can perform surgery.

Wait… have the British been watching Japanese anime?  They want to stick this tentacle INSIDE OF US?!?!  What the EFF?!  And then there’s this:

“The challenge for the future — I don’t think they’ve addressed it yet — is how do you actually control a device that has so many different degrees of freedom?”

He calls the octopus a genius among mollusks in part because its nervous system is human-like. That complexity means we still have a way to go before replicating Paul the Octopus, of World Cup prediction fame.

“If we could do something like that, it would be extremely impressive,” Chiel said. “And a little scary.”

Just a little scary?!  How about the stuff H.P. Lovecraft stories are made of?!

A robot more like us

Just another piece of the human annihilation puzzle…

In search of a robot more like us

From the article:

There is still significant debate about how even to begin to design a machine that might be flexible enough to do many of the things humans do: fold laundry, cook or wash dishes. That will require a breakthrough in software that mimics perception.

Today’s robots can often do one of these tasks in limited circumstances, but researchers describe their skills as “brittle.” They fail if the tiniest change is introduced. Moreover, they must be reprogrammed in a cumbersome fashion to do something else.

Many robotics researchers are pursuing a bottom-up approach, hoping that by training robots on one task at a time, they can build a library of tasks that will ultimately make it possible for robots to begin to mimic humans.

Others are skeptical, saying that truly useful machines await an artificial intelligence breakthrough that yields vastly more flexible perception.

Yep… just what we need.  A robot with fine manipulation skills that can think for itself.  Check out some of my other warning blogs about robots.  Now pair all the technology together.  Can you say, “Yikes!”?  I know I can…

Robots, people.  They’re bad news.  Mark my word.  Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but soon…

Robots can “love” us. We’re effed.

If love is the most powerful emotion, then wouldn’t that make hate the second-most powerful?  And wouldn’t it be more efficient for a computer to find an easier way to feel emotion than a harder way?

The science of human-robot love

And what happens when the robot feels “scorned”?  Jilted lover deathbot, anyone?!

Also, now they’re also trying to be that awkward guy who makes the “that’s what she said” jokes at mostly the right times, but not always.

Computer program knows when to say, “That’s what she said.”

Hey, I’ve got an idea!  QUIT TRYING TO MAKE ROBOTS HUMAN!!!

Transformers: Dark of the Moon was AWESOME!

So I was able to go see a preview showing of Transformers: Dark of the Moon in 3D last night at 9pm.  It was made of AWESOME.  A few of my favorite parts (spoiler-free) were:

  • Alan Tudyk being in the movie.  This was a very pleasant surprise to me, as I loved him as “Wash” in Firefly/Serenity.  And he’s just as funny/awesome in this movie as well.
  • Optimus Prime’s trailer.  FINALLY Prime gets his trailer and all the associated goodies.
  • Political potshots at both sides of the fence.  Definitely some funny stuff here.
  • John Malkovich is pretty funny (as usual).
  • Some new faces, both Autobot and Decepticon, that were cool.

Anyway, the movie is 2 hours and 37 minutes long, so go to the bathroom beforehand and try to pace yourself drinking your soda during the movie.  The 3D I felt was definitely worth it and very cool in several scenes.  This movie made a fitting conclusion to the series.  Go see it.

Life on Mars?

So I don’t know why everyone is questioning what this thing is on Mars.  Haven’t they seen Transformers?  It’s clearly a Decepticon base of some sort.  I’m sure this is all Starscream’s fault somehow…

Seriously, though, I’m betting NASA tries to tell us it’s light reflecting off of sand or something.  Can you say “cover-up”?  I knew you could…

Keep your powder dry, people.  Whether it’s little grey men or giant robots, you may need it sooner than you think.

UPDATE:  Hey, I wasn’t far off.  Apparently the image is a linear streak artifact produced by a cosmic ray interfering with the camera.

Screw you, Toyota!

This is horrifying to me.  If it can run, it can chase us.  And apparently we will have trouble pushing it over.

Keep your powder dry.