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Nat Geo: Us and Them

©Max Aguilera-Hellweg/National GeographicWhen National Geographic contacted me last week about writing an article about a robotics article they had published on the web I must say I was quite surprised.

The article itself is a very interesting one.  It asks the question whether we are ready for all the robots that are slowly coming into our every day lives. Personally, I think the question is a moot one; robots are coming whether we are ready for them or not. With an ever ageing population in the western world and countries like Japan, we’re not going to be able to do without them. Robots will take care of our elderly and do the jobs nobody wants or can do.

The other question whether the robots will be ready for us is the more important one. Can robots fit in and find their way in our crazy, disorganized world? Much research is being done to making robots social.

The true test of intelligence will be a robot that can tell the difference between a sarcastic remark and a sincere one.  I for one welcome our Robotic Overlords (or was I being sarcastic?)

The August edition of National Geographic will be on the stands on July 26.


©Max Aguilera-Hellweg/National Geographic

With no human coach at the controls, Virginia Tech’s robot soccer team dribbled, passed, and scored its way into the 2010 RoboCup “kid-size” semifinal in Singapore. The tournament founders’ goal is a robot team that will defeat the human World Cup champs by 2050.

More cool photos can be found here in the gallery: [LINK].

About Xander

Xander Soldaat is a Software Engineer and former Infrastructure Architect. He loves building and programming robots. He recently had the opportunity to turn his robotics hobby into his profession and has started working for Robomatter, the makers of ROBOTC and Robot Virtual Words.