ROBOTICS ADVANCES: THEY’RE NOT SCIENCE FICTION ANY MOREFebruary 21, 2011
Well, robotics has now advanced to the point of making real what was only science fiction a mere two decades ago. Check these out:
The first article notes that the goal of these scientists would be to make a fully fledged "android" robot for "for assisting the elderly or disabled people, performing tasks such as typing, reaching objects, and opening doors." Well, that's nice that they're always looking out for us in our dottage. Once one has opened the door to that possibility, another possibility arises, and that it robotical-human interfaces for prosthetic limbs. Such interfaces are already, in some sense at least, a commonplace in military applications. Extend the idea, and one has the ultimate dream - or nightmare - the robotic-human cyborg.
The second article exhibits the nightmarish capabilities to which the science of robotics has now been pushed. This article clearly ntoes the not only the espionage capabilities of the little robotic hummingbird - "The ornithopter can fly into buildings under the control of an operator flying the spybot with the help of a feed from its tiny video camera" - but it is good enough to let us know that the Defense Advance Research Projects Agency, or DARPA, has a special division devoted to the development of "nano-reconnaissance platforms" and is busily engaged in disguising them as birds: "The spybot was developed for the US military's research arm, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). The hummingbird appearance is intended to disguise the bot, although it would look decidedly out of place and would attract attention in most places in the world since hummingbirds are not found outside of the Americas. DARPA's head of the Nano Air Vehicles (NAV) program. Dr Todd Hylton..." &c.
As the science advances, miniaturization will follow, and thus one can imagine fleets of nano-espionage vehicles disguised as flies, beetles, june bugs, grasshoppers - you name it. So all those wonderful science fiction movies you see of mechanical insects or birds...well, they're almost here, and your local out-of-control sociopathic government agency is behind it all.
The next time you spray a bug with a can of Raid, and it doesn't kill the bug, remember...you were warned.