Author Topic: Really annoying Slate article on robot products (robot bashing).  (Read 4259 times)

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Offline SciTech02Topic starter

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Really annoying Slate article on robot products (robot bashing).
« on: December 23, 2008, 12:53:19 AM »
http://www.slate.com/id/2206604/?y=1

I'm not a big fan of the "Toys" that people consider robots (most WowWee products, etc.), but even I find this product guide annoying.  True, the "consumer robots/toys" leave a lot to be desired at times, but the technology they have is actually quite advanced.  In this guide, he bashes every one of these products, and that's not all.  He says that a robot "can be described by its signature combination of essential robot qualities: It's annoying, disturbing, offensive, pathetic, or scary—or some mixture thereof." (added underline for emphasis). ??? >:( That was uncalled for, in my opinion.  Worse, this was on Yahoo's home page (must be relatively popular to make it there).  If this really is the general view of robotics now, this may explain 2008 robot hobbyist trends that Admin gathered.  :-\

I'm probably overreacting or I read it the wrong way.  The writer may not even be serious, or something.  I just posted this to see what you guys (Roboticists who design, build, use, and tinker with these and related products) think of it.
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Offline TrickyNekro

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Re: Really annoying Slate article on robot products (robot bashing).
« Reply #1 on: December 23, 2008, 03:57:30 AM »
What he says is too much!!! But.... He doesn't see this things as we see them...
We see the mechanism, we see the electronics.... And so much more...
What he sees is a toy... A toy to replace a real pet... Which isn't so good...

You see robot pets only require recharging while real pets require care...
This won't probably have an effect on us... who are adults or teens...
But it will hurt kids... in a way... Cause they learn not to care, pay to have and much more....
Even more it helps parents to care less about their kids cause they give em a simple toy that
aims to spend many of the kids' hours playing and not doing something "bad"....

So yes, he over reacts but their words have plenty of truth.... ;)

Best Regards,
Lefteris, Greece
For whom the interrupts toll...


P.S. I've been inactive for almost a year... Don't give promises but I'll try to complete my tutorials. I'll let you know when..

Cheers!

Offline Half Shell

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Re: Really annoying Slate article on robot products (robot bashing).
« Reply #2 on: December 23, 2008, 09:45:53 AM »
Keep in mind the average person's view of robots in general is that of science fiction! They don't understand the complexities of even simple navigation and localization, or the complexities of motor and servo control. They don't even know that control loops have to be made and perfected to achieve smooth motion. They can't fathom the amount of programming and testing that has to go into these to make them idiot proof. They believe vision to be trivial, while we know it to be, at times, the equivalent of moving the Titanic. I still roll my eyes when people express serious concern over AI taking over when it takes our nation's best AI researchers years to make AI simply recognize people.

They dream one thing, thinking its true, and then are shocked to discover that robot products haven't hit there yet. They don't understand that our science is a difficult one, and further behind than they believe it to be.

Offline Admin

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Re: Really annoying Slate article on robot products (robot bashing).
« Reply #3 on: December 27, 2008, 12:07:24 AM »
I think we should send the writer a few laser equipped robots for 're-education' ;D

The fact that people get emotional over their Roombas and soldiers get emotional over their blown up packbots shows what little people know is inside these machines . . .

One of my youtube vids seems to attract comments that show how clueless people are about robot AI:



oh, and the review for the femisapien was pretty hilarious . . .

Offline Thomas Countz

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Re: Really annoying Slate article on robot products (robot bashing).
« Reply #4 on: December 27, 2008, 12:33:04 AM »
Who doesn't want a Furby!!! I love those Furby robots....you just wait, in a couple of years, they'll be out on the battle field annoying the hell out of our enemies until they retreat.....I think it's the future of America.   ;)

Offline Soeren

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Re: Really annoying Slate article on robot products (robot bashing).
« Reply #5 on: January 29, 2009, 05:21:27 PM »
Hi,

I'm probably overreacting or I read it the wrong way.  The writer may not even be serious, or something.  I just posted this to see what you guys (Roboticists who design, build, use, and tinker with these and related products) think of it.
I think you're overreacting. I actually found it a quite witty, a common mans perspective on a category of robots which is far from what's discussed here (and in some cases they are very advanced compared to what folks here build (copy) of the $50 'bot variant.

If most posters here would write with just half the wit and style of Daniel Engber (the author), I wouldn't complain.

Try to read it again, forgetting that youre into what you consider "Real Robots(tm)", without singling out a few lines that for some reason offend you and you might enjoy it :)

If all else fails, here's my personal cure when people don't understand me... Inside my head plays the chorus of Garden Party by Rick Nelson (an old seventies hit): "You Can't Please Everyone... So You Gotta Please Yourself"  :D
Regards,
Søren

A rather fast and fairly heavy robot with quite large wheels needs what? A lot of power?
Please remember...
Engineering is based on numbers - not adjectives

 


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