If you're not knitting, the terrorists win

(My mostly on-topic ramblings about knitting. And life in general. My life in specific.)

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Location: Indiana, United States

I'm a middle aged mother of 2 grown children and wife to a man who doesn't seem to mind my almost heroin-like yarn addiction. I spend my time writing, knitting, and generally stressing out.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Roboy To Be Born In March

We can only hope.

Roboy is a humanoid robot designed by The Artificial Lab of the University of Zuerich. I assume that by artificial lab, they mean a lab producing artificial life, not literally a fake lab.

Now you know I am a huge robophile. I've talked extensively about Hanson Robotics and their work. I love the way they have been able to give their robots human expression.

But this one has me excited, too. Roboy is different from most other humanoid robots in the way he moves. Most robots have motors in their joints that move the body. Roboy has artificial tendons. Wow! Plus, if you look at his skeleture, it is designed like a human skeleton. So Roboy is going to move like a real boy.

I am so excited about both Roboy and Hanson's Jules. I think robots can do so much good for so many people. Think about the elderly. They may keep their independence longer if their mind is engaged with conversation and activity. If they had a friend, I'm saying. Not only that, but a robot could keep track of medication, and whether or not their elderly friend was eating properly.

That's a big thing with some old folks, btw. Not eating. In my dad's later years, I think he often "remembered" eating, even when he didn't. And sometimes he would tell me he ate, for instance, a whole bag of microwave popcorn. First of all, that shit didn't fly when I didn't want to eat dinner, so I feel a pretty strong sense of injustice. But also, popcorn is pretty much non-nutritive. He could get the same amount of nutrition from an equal amount of packing peanuts.

The point is, a robot friend would notice these things. He'd say, "Hey, Grandpa. You need to drink this Ensure." I have a feeling my dad might not have blown the robot as much shit as he did me.

A robot friend might make some people, who maybe have no family, feel like someone really does care about them. And I think that might give these folks a better quality of life.

Royboy is still looking for funding.


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