This week, robotics company Boston Dynamics dazzled us with the latest member of its robot menagerie: a robot that looks and acts like a mule, with hoof-like feet, a trotting gait and special sensors that enables it to follow a human over difficult terrain. […] Oh, and it can carry up to 400 pounds of stuff for 20 miles without refueling. […] Boston Dynamics calls the robot the Legged Squad Support System, or LS3. Its development is being funded by DARPA and the U.S. Marine Corps.
The installation ‘bios [bible]’ (2007) by Robotlab consists of an industrial robot which writes down the bible on rolls of paper. The machine draws the calligraphic lines with high precision - like a monk in the scriptorium.
The Future of Robotics: Fast Cheap and Out of Control
Much as the computing industry progressed from a mainframe to a PC to a mobile stage, with each stage marking bigger improvements in computing power while shrinking in size, the robotics industry could be headed for the same trajectory. What this means is the day is coming soon when each of us could have teams of personal robots that follow us around in our daily lives, doing everything from cleaning our toilets to cleaning our arteries, and communicating with each other as part of swarm intelligence. That’s a radical idea, but no more radical an idea than that one day each of us would have a personal computer. Remember the skeptics who once doubted why anyone would ever purchase a personal computer.
I bought groceries at BJ’s (a warehouse club) using an extremely well-designed self-service check out line.
I bought some stuff for the house at Home Depot using their not-as-well-designed-as-BJ’s self-service check out line.
I bought my food at McDonald’s at the kiosk, as described above.
All of these systems are very easy-to-use from a customer standpoint, they are fast, and they lower the cost of doing business and should therefore lead to lower prices. All of that is good, so these automated systems will proliferate rapidly.