Saturday, July 09, 2005


A couple of interesting articles about some of the latest ideas in consumer robotics. Some of the ideas in these articles hit me as just those first baby steps towards us all being replaced by robots. Which of course makes me worry about what life is going to be like when our kids have kids.

First, there's the story that Wal-Mart is denying doing research into using robotics to replace human workers. And of course, this is Wal-Mart, so I think we can safely assume they are.

Then, there's a story about the latest ideas with Robots and RFID. Such as the kid's playground robot, designed to monitor the whereabouts of a kid (a kid wearing an RFID tag, no less), and to go medieval on your ass if you come near the kid by making loud noises, blowing smoke, oh and of course whipping out the massive Tommy-gun hands a la RoboCop. And we all know how well that worked on RoboCop.

And then of course, "Imagine a doll that recognizes its accessories and can request new ones". I can imagine it, it's called my opinionated 4-year-old. Frankly, the last thing I want around this house is another toy that talks. I already can't get a word in edgewise around here.

Of course, there's the robot toy that "detects other toys and responds to them." How cool would it be to see your robotic Winnie The Pooh sidle up to your robotic Elmo doll and smack him upside the head for being so whiny? Or better yet, whip out those Tommy-gun hands and, well, maybe not. For some reason I see a scene from Toy Story, where everyone leaves the room and the toys come to life. But I don't see them playing nicely together. I see them battling for playroom domination.

If you ask me, the day they invent a robot that kids would prefer over a mom or dad to lie down on the couch with, snuggled in its arms, watching TV or reading a book together is the day we're all doomed.

No comments: