Friday, October 12, 2007

Dream robots are real... (but dead.)

I think it's great that Al Gore won the Nobel Prize and I'm guessing that he will probably quit while he's ahead. The cautious gambler who's lost big before rarely puts much on the table after a big win. But really, while it's nice to have a clean green planet and all, I honestly think that the world will be saved by dancing robots.

Seriously, I am intrigued by the idea of peppering society with robots who consistently display human virtues and talents as exemplars and reminders of our better selves. Sony's QRIO ("Quest for cuRIOsity") robosapien was slated to be available to the public in 2009, but alas they mysteriously killed the project last year. These unbelievably fluid little bots can carry on conversations, adapt to a multitude of environments and — most importantly — mimic human movements, including complex dance routines as seen here in Beck's "Hell Yes!" video.

There was a time when people thought robots would destroy the Earth. How nice, if instead, they could have taught us to put down our weapons and get funky. So thanks Sony for pulling the plug on a brighter future. You gave us Betamax and kept QRIO for yourselves. Lame!


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