Re: Dancing Robots

In response to a comment by Ollie:

Yes, they are pretty amazing.

Of course, their price/cost is pretty amazing too. And, they're not autonomous. I've seen a lot of demonstrations of Asimo and other advanced robots here at trade shows, and they still have the 'Wizard of Oz' feeling with a staff of people behind the curtain controlling things. That will improve over time.

If you go through the auto factories, the robots and mechanisms in use are extremely fast and accurate. So the big difference with robots like ORIO and Asimo is their bipedal design - i.e. their ability to mimic human movements.

Frankly, I think it's the typical first generation approach. We tend to design new technology mimicking what we are familiar with. The first cars were horse-less carriages, for example. It took a couple of decades of trial and error and evolution before the body was lowered below the axles and cars were designed as cars rather than carriages. We're seeing the same thing today with computers - the Mac Mini is a great example, though there are lots of others.

I expect robots will evolve along the same lines. We'll spend a decade or two (one human generation?) doing designs that have their roots in older technology. Robots will be designed to do things that humans already do, and to do them as humans do them. Then we'll start to see totally new and creative designs that really apply robotics in ways we can't begin to imagine today. New robots designed to do things in a totally neo-robotic fashion. A solution to a problem that we couldn’t conceive of because we didn’t have the technology, experience or the mindset to think of it from a neo-robotic perspective.


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