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[DPRG] Re: New SONY running robot

Subject: [DPRG] Re: New SONY running robot
From: . zappepcs at earthlink.net
Date: Fri Dec 19 16:34:01 CST 2003

I agree with Rick's conclusions here... 
I also think that business R&D into robotics needs to see Return On Investment
before its worth spending the money ... 

There is more possible ROI in a robot that cleans parking lots and looks like a trash
can then there is in a humanoid robot that sweeps with a broom.

Building a very complex (and expensive) humanoid robot to do menial tasks isn't
really a cost effective proposition at the moment. If you can pay 10's of thousands
per year for a maid that also knows how to deal with the phone and mailman, and
lots of other things, why would you build a humanoid robot that costs far more to
operate, never mind the initial costs.

A humanoid robot that can think like a human is arguably human, part of what Star Trek
digs into with 'Data'... 

Between now and the 23rd century, robots will certainly evolve, and the technology will
certainly improved... until then the ROI is far to small.

Personally, I've put my mind to work on finding niche markets where a robot is a good
investment, places where people seldom do the work, or don't like to, or can never afford
the time and effort to do it. Unless robots are made to fit into society as it is, there is 
no real return... 

just my thoughts

Cheers

-----Original Message-----
>From: "Rick J. Bickle" <rbickle at swbell.net>
Sent: Dec 19, 2003 3:48 PM
To: 'Peter Brunone' <peter at brunone.com>, dprglist at dprg.org
Subject: RE: [DPRG] Re: New SONY running robot

I bet the sony robots in the demo were controlled by external computers
and linked by RF modems. Considering the complexity of motion they
displayed, and the synchronization of the movements, it makes sense that
they would be externally controlled.

On the leap from this display to robots performing basic jobs: The Sony
robots are impressive in the way that they approximate human motion.
They are the best I've seen yet at human movement. It seems to me
though, that the most serious shortcoming today in achieving the goal of
approximating human behavior is in the controls or brain. Even the best
computer algorithms in artificial intelligence still are not the
slightest bit capable of reading multiple sensors (i.e. sight, sound,
touch) and using them to determine a course of action in a situation for
which they have not been specifically programmed. A quantum leap in
robot technology will come when the control systems become capable of
learning in a way that relates new information to multiple tasks. Human
brains are essentially born "unwired" and literally create synaptic
connections as they learn. They not only learn information, but make the
connections necessary to process that information as well. The analogy
for robots would be creating the electronic hardware in real time to
process information being received, while also storing the information
to be learned. I have often wondered if FPGA devices could be used for
this purpose.

Rick

P.S. I don't know about violence, but I'm tired of so much sex on T.V. -
the darn rabbit ears keep getting in the way.


-----Original Message-----
>From: dprglist-admin at dprg.org [mailto:dprglist-admin at dprg.org] On Behalf
Of Peter Brunone
Sent: Friday, December 19, 2003 1:03 PM
To: dprglist at dprg.org
Subject: RE: [DPRG] Re: New SONY running robot



	Whoa... Closing political rant aside there, I have a question or
two.

> Eventually, I do not doubt for a second that walking robots will be 
> driving cars, flying planes...there is simply less chance of human
error. 

	What do you consider "human error"?  Remember, one of our
greatest advantages over machines is our ability to process unfamiliar
situations and react accordingly.  The main reason we still have pilots
in our jetliners -- in addition to the autopilot computer that, frankly,
does most of the flying -- is that robots simply cannot match human
adaptability.  Machines may aid us in the more computer-friendly tasks,
but in all likelihood, there will always be someone at the controls,
ready to override when (not if) something goes wrong.

Just my two cents...

Peter

-----Original Message-----
>From: dprglist-admin at dprg.org [mailto:dprglist-admin at dprg.org] On Behalf
Of Ted Huntington
Sent: Friday, December 19, 2003 12:27 PM
To: dprglist at dprg.org
Subject: Re: [DPRG] Re: New SONY running robot

>   What is your corporate vision?  What should America be doing? What 
> should robots be doing that they are not doing now?

I think that first robots will be following humans around documenting
their every activity.  The next activities I would teach walking robots
is to organize objects by recognizing, getting and putting objects in
their original location/container, clean dishes, clean toilets, scrub
floors, etc...eventually walking robots will be picking fruits,
vegtables, etc...simple repetitive tasks, perhaps even data entry, so
the humans doing the most simple jobs will probably be replaced first (I
am glad I have a complex job!).  Eventually, I do not doubt for a second
that walking robots will be driving cars, flying planes...there is
simply less chance of human error.  Humans get nervous, have bad
memories, slow reaction and movement times, consume coffee and donuts
(although getting electrons from atoms in food is perhaps better than
getting electrons from atoms of uranium), etc...

But in terms of the Americas, we should be leading the way in walking
robots, rocket planes, cameras that record every part of the spectrum,
computers, democracy, freedom of information, all things science and
technology, not leading in unstopped violence!

Ted

--
Ted Huntington
Programmer Analyst I
Main Library
University of California, Irvine
PO Box 19557
Irvine, CA 92623-9557
emesgs:  thunting at uci.edu
web page:  http://business.lib.uci.edu/webpages/ted.htm
8:00a-12:00p Business Office (949) 824-8926
1:00p-5:00p  Multimedia Resource Center (949) 824-1674
"Stop violence, teach science."


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