Speaking of dehumanizing robots…
To understand the effects, affordances, and contextual implications of cars one has to imagine not a single car, but the mindbogglingly dull commute in a suburban traffic jam. Similarly, to understand the affordances of drones and UAVs [unmanned aerial vehicles – a terrible term] one has to imagine the sky-air permeated by networked machines; from micro-drones suitable as toys and message relay, to massive permanent-hover drones suitable for advertising, surveillance, and – inevitably – policing. Enter The Drone Aviary – an R&D project from The Superflux Lab.
The Drone Aviary reveals fleeting glimpses of the city from the perspective of drones. It explores a world where the ‘network’ begins to gain physical autonomy. Drones become protagonists, moving through the city, making decisions about the world and influencing our lives in often opaque yet profound ways.
Amazon’s warehouse robots in a machinic routine. I can watch this all day.
A thought-provoking look at the impact of massive automation on existing labor practices by C.G.P. Grey.
We have been through economic revolutions before, but the robot revolution is different. Horses aren’t unemployed now because they got lazy as a species, they’re unemployable. There’s little work a horse can do that do that pays for its housing and hay. And many bright, perfectly capable humans will find themselves the new horse: unemployable through no fault of their own. […]
This video isn’t about how automation is bad — rather that automation is inevitable. It’s a tool to produce abundance for little effort. We need to start thinking now about what to do when large sections of the population are unemployable — through no fault of their own. What to do in a future where, for most jobs, humans need not apply.
I just became one of the 366 backers for the Hexapod project on kickstarter, and the excitement is palpable. Why? Because come September I am getting an Arduino-powered, completely open-source, open-assembly, bluetooth enabled, low-cost, hexapod robot! Did I mention it has ultrasonic distance sensor eyes?
Since its heart beats on Arduino, I can customise add-ons such as speakers and 4G connectivity,while longer term I can make it talk to my Android phone. I can’t wait to see my toddler boy play with it!
Edit: I am planning to name it Randall.