Thursday, July 21, 2011

Robots and Robot Aides: The Science of Over the Edge

Robots, robotic aides and/or bionics figure in Over the Edge, but they're in the background, like toasters or refrigerated air units: they're not missed until they're broken and not seen until they're necessary to the story. That's the way technology should be, actually, it shouldn't really be a character in a story (well, humanoid robots who think and have feelings may be the exception).

Probably the most dramatic bionic use found in Over the Edge is a character's ability to save to an electronic medium images captured by the eye, sounds heard by the ear and thoughts recorded and verbiage stored as text documents. No privacy if someone's got the access codes. Add the ability to access that saved information at any time from anywhere, total, literal recall, and the power to control a spaceship by thought command, a spaceship captain finds his ship an extension of his own being. This happens to a lesser extent when people drive. Experienced drivers naturally extend their concept of personal space and boundaries to include the vehicle they're driving. They become attuned to the normal rattles, clicks and rumbles of their healthy machine and take note when sounds change. Well, some of us do. Others of us don't pay that good attention, not even to our own bodies. But that's another subject.

The article posted below from National Geographic highlights how robots or robotic aides are already integrating into human life and what may lie in the future.


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