The idea that robots will replace human labour hasbeen around since, technically, before there was even such a thing as robots. It is an intriguing history: We can trace our fears of being displaced by mechanised labour back to the earliest days of the Industrial Revolution, as automated looms, powered by the magic of steam engines, meant less employment for skilled workers. Continue reading →
It’s easy to see how some of today’s mechanical marvels like NASA’s Mars SpiritRover or The HRP-4C, created by The National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST), inspire jaw-dropping wonder. Who made that? And how on earth does it do that? Are all natural questions that come to mind in the face of these modern works. However, there’s something about animated bits of wire and metal that have intrigued humans for centuries. Continue reading →
They’re doing their best to walk the walk and talk the talk
Humans may not have the fastest or strongest bodies on earth but they are super multifunctional. Sure, we can’t jump as high as frogs, or swim as well as dolphins but we’re still able to achieve both forms of motion. The versatility of our physical ability has inspired us to create a world filled with tools and structures that would be impossible for many other animals to use – can you picture a cat using a door handle or a fish using stairs? Continue reading →
The term robot was originally used in Karel Čapek’s 1921 play RUR (Rossum’s Universal Robots). However, the concept of a being or machine akin to today’s conception of a robot is something that goes back much further.
The notion of artificial beings is present throughout history in diverse methodologies. In some they are portrayed as human servants, in others as divine creatures. How are robots portrayed today?