Eighteen years after unveiling its original Aibo robot dog, and 11 years after putting it down, Sony has revived the product using advanced mechatronics and AI to create a cuter, smarter, and more lifelike version. The new "entertainment robot" goes by the same name as its predecessor, aibo, but its name is written in lower case. The robot itself is crammed with ultracompact 1- and 2-axis actuators specially designed by Sony. These actuators enable aibo's body to move along a total of 22 axes. This makes for smoother, more natural movements--such as ear and tail wagging, as well as mouth, paw, and body motions--compared to the original Aibo.
I've been away from school for a couple of decades or so. I went to college in the '70s, dropped out, and eventually finished in the '90s. I leaned toward the theatrical, philosophical, sociological, communicable disciplines and ignorantly ignored the burgeoning planned obsolescence of male and female, which would eventually be rebranded as Human 2.0 where flesh melds with metal and chip and transhumans will live as gods forever. Teaching children to bow down to their beast phone is a done deal. So let's invite that beast spirit to be your new best friend and control all of your appliances!
The story of androids on the silver screen cannot pass without mention of three contemporary classics: The replicants rebelling against their pre-programmed demise in Blade Runner (1982); Arnold Schwarzenegger's gun-toting turn as 2029-vintage cyborg in The Terminator (1984); and Peter Weller as officer Alex J Murphy's alter ego in the dystopic Detroit of RoboCop (1987).
When Boston Dynamics posted its latest video of its robots performing gravity-defying acrobatics, this time dancing to The Contours' "Do You Love Me," the internet was agog. A YouTube clip of Atlas and Spot robots moving with balletic fluidity has racked up over 23 million views since Dec. 30 and countless warnings that the'Terminator series' Skynet is upon us. Boston Dynamics, which Hyundai Motor Group is acquiring from SoftBank Group, makes robots that are not only practical, they're fun to watch. Long used by companies like Walt Disney Imagineering, robots are emerging as entertainers even as the Covid-19 pandemic has seen the rollout of various kinds of robots that can help fight the virus and support society and the economy in a myriad of ways – from providing automation in factories and warehouses to working as medical assistants in hospitals and nursing homes. As the world looks to vaccines and the reopening of economies, intelligent machines will be taking on an increasingly public role as entertainers.