Popular Mechanics isn't the first magazine that pops into our mind when we think of insightful robot content, but to our pleasant surprise, the magazine's latest issue triggered a lengthy, and very well written, article by Erik Sofge titled "The Truth About Robots and the Uncanny Valley."
Sofge explores the basis of the 'Uncanny Valley' hypothesis, its complexity, and its overuse, especially by the press, to the point that it has become almost useless to serious robotics researchers and analysts. In the article, Sofge quotes from several leading researchers and authorities who support, for the most part, his take on the hypothesis.
A robotic Edward Scissorhands in your garden?The Uncanny Valley article, as good as it is, is a 'teaser' to entice readers to consume even more interesting content in the current issue, which features a very futuristic android illustration on the cover while promising a lot more robot content inside. According to the Popular Mechanics website, the print edition tackles issues like:
"Can robots be trusted? Humanoid machines are a sci-fi staple, but soon we'll be meeting them face-to-face. In our February issue, we unpack what a future with real C-3POs means."
We won't spoil your experience by disclosing what conclusions they draw. But, one article illustration featuring a robotic gardener swinging a large pair of hedge clippers did remind us quite a bit of Edward Scissorhands...