Robots! (11)

1 Name: Anonymous Scientist : 2009-05-20 01:52 ID:CMH8wEcG

What will the future hold in the way of robotics?
What will their abilities be and how will they compare to humans doing the same task?
Do you think there will ever be giant robots like in Gundam?
Are such robots feasible or practical?

2 Name: Anonymous Scientist : 2009-05-20 09:53 ID:H6/Jp18l

Robotics are a problem because there are too many people for too few jobs. Why bother automating when there are masses in China willing to put one screw in one part of one toy over and over again for 18 hours a day? The worldwide unemployment rate is getting worse every day because people will not stop increasing the labor supply. Frankly, in terms of our species and our planet, giant killer robots would probably be a good thing.

As for their abilities? Endless given enough engineers on the task. Right now, the automation variety is fairly fool-proof and the unsung hero of industry in the West. Intelligent varieties will be around eventually, but until they have purpose and meaning in the world, they'll continue to be toys to showcase the research budgets of Japanese companies and Universities in the United States. They might be good for espionage if they can be made small enough.

Large robots? The main problem is complexity and power supply. Something similar could be made now, but again, why bother when you can build 1,180,000 tanks you know will work for the same price? As for the power supply, if you want to build it now, why can't a giant robot run on a diesel-electric system? All you'd be powering are a bunch of hydraulic pumps and servo motors, so it's perfect. Well, it's no worse than carrying batteries anyway.

3 Name: Anonymous Scientist : 2009-05-20 10:10 ID:H6/Jp18l


> Well it's no worse than carrying batteries, anyway.

Well, batteries of today and right now. There's a pretty solid brick wall that you run into in terms of size/weight vs. output/lifespan of batteries. As for the diesel/whatever-electric system, you might be able to make a very high-powered fuel for the system with less effort than would be required for making batteries (granted you then have the problem of making the robot prone to explosions, but what good is a giant robot unless it explodes dramatically?).

This is an aside, but I find it interesting because I'm a very boring person: In the Terminator series there are impressive machines walking and flying around powered by exotic battery/nuclear systems. This is 100% OK with me because the machines are making themselves and are unaffected by living in a toxic environment. One could make some really cool high-powered batteries or small-scale nuclear systems granted there's no concern for environmental consequences of their manufacture or the constant radiation they're pumping out. However, since we're made of meat that needs to eat and breathe, anything nuclear has to be properly shielded and we tend to be upset when our drinking water is mostly heavy metals.

4 Name: Anonymous Scientist : 2009-05-20 22:19 ID:simW7gRy

> Do you think there will ever be giant robots like in Gundam?

Well that's not a very interesting question at all.

> Do you think there will ever be creepy gumbyesque robots that fly around in magical boxes and have the power to resurrect people who died ages ago but only for a day due for some reason like in the movie A.I.?

Now that's much better.

5 Name: Anonymous Scientist : 2009-05-21 09:52 ID:H6/Jp18l

If I remember this movie (and I don't!), the lock of hair was taken from the ends. This would contain only mitochondrial DNA. With what they were given (hair), one would be able to determine with a high degree of accuracy some very useless genetic information common to the bulk of the population with only weak indicators as to its subset (i.e.: this individual might be Chinese). In order to pin down the unique attributes of an individual and reconstruct it properly (sans memories/personality of course), you'd need nuclear DNA from proper tissue. So remember, when you're a robot child doppleganger, take that lock of hair by ripping it out of the skull. Try to get some skin and blood too!

Anyway, this movie is (trying to be) a philosophical piece and you (and I) are being fascetious but the answer to your questions is still no!

6 Name: Fry : 2009-05-21 19:51 ID:CMH8wEcG

How about droids like in Star Wars? It would be nice if we had battle droids to send to Iraq so our troops wouldn't have to die. Even better would be if they could turn people into robots/cyborgs like "ghost in the shell" Then I would become an android because digestion is the ickyness.

7 Name: Anonymous Scientist : 2009-05-21 21:22 ID:79jznOFG


I have never heard of hair containing mtDNA. If that's true, it's interesting. Do you have a reference?

This is the future:

8 Name: Anonymous Scientist : 2009-05-22 10:17 ID:H6/Jp18l


There would be enough in a lock of hair. In some rare cases, it's used for criminal identification but it only narrows things down to a single family. With most criminal cases, that's often all it takes. Most families only have one black sheep (or they're a flock of them, but we won't go there). Robots don't need this though, because they extract confessions with steel claws and terror!

See also: "Forensic Evidence: Science and the Criminal Law, Second Edition." Most of it's on Google Books. It has a couple case studies that are quite boring! See pages 106-119.

As for TALON and other robotic weapons systems, I think it's only a matter of time before the Russians or Chinese figure out a way to jam wireless signals or even worse, take control of the robot. That's going to be a very fun arms race!

9 Name: Anonymous Scientist : 2009-05-22 22:04 ID:Heaven

Back to the topic of the giant robot powered by diesel-electric:

Another improbable way to power this beast it is microwave power transmission. We were thinking either several mobile armored power stations or even better (worse) putting the generators and transmitters on board very large aircraft (say a fleet of 8-10 Antonov An-225s) and have them continually descending on the machine in a large airborne chain (meeting up later with a chain of refueling aircraft double to triple the number of your fleet because these burn a lot of fuel!).

The main problem here is you've already built a death ray of enormous capability. Why bother with the robot when you can flash fry the contents of a tank (or the lungs of an infantry division) from a very safe distance? The robot would be useful in drawing fire away from your death rays I guess.

10 Name: Anonymous Scientist : 2009-05-23 16:04 ID:NX2s4lnm

> battle droids
That would be terribly cowardly and sinister. But since the US is already going in this direction with robotics, in addition to long range bombing and empowering ethnic minorities to take the brunt of the fighting (which after their victory and domination will almost certainly lead to future genocide)... the answer is yes with a 'but'.
The 'but' being that people will remain cheaper and more disposable for some time.

But... fuck, can you just imagine this thing coming for your family with a machine gun on it's back? You couldn't even surrender to the beast. When that does happen to you, you'll be glad to go after 'soft targets'.

11 Name: Anonymous Scientist : 2009-05-25 07:20 ID:XAQj56JG

Fuck it, I just want a moe-moe robot that will bake me cakes


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