Robotics
















Monsieur COK from Franck Dion on Vimeo. via Vimeo Mister Cok is the owner of a large bomb factory. Looking for efficiency and profit, he decides to replace his workers by sophisticated…



The company that creates terrifying machines such as BigDog, CHEETAH, and PETMAN for the Pentagon’s DARPA division is now a subsidiary of Google. It remains to be seen how Google plans to combine the deployment of robots such as BigDog (below) with its knowledge of your intimate personal information and location at all times. The New York Times reports:

Google confirmed on Friday that it had completed the acquisition of Boston Dynamics, an engineering company that has designed mobile research robots for the Pentagon. The company, based in Waltham, Mass., has gained an international reputation for extraordinarily agile machines that walk with an uncanny sense of balance and even — cheetahlike — run faster than the fastest humans.

Executives at the Internet giant are circumspect about what exactly they plan to do with their robot collection.


Tiffany Shlain and husband Ken Goldberg, Professor of Robitics at UC Berkeley, share some thoughts about robots in a new short film “Why We Love Robots”:




Android technology may reveal the inner lives of simple and mysterious creatures, in disturbing fashion. Via New Scientist:

Slime mold finds the quickest path between food and has even shown signs of having memory – despite not having a brain.

A human-like robot face has been hooked up so that its expressions are controlled by the electrical signals produced when yellow slime mold shies away from light, or moves eagerly towards food.

Physarum polycephalum is a common yellow slime mold which ranges in size from several hundred micrometres to more than one metre. It is an aggregation of hundreds or thousands of identical unicellular organisms that merge together into one huge “cell” containing all their nuclei.


This mesmerizing and slightly horrifying clip of a six-legged, bug-like robot generating a human form is perhaps a preview of the reproductive process a thousand years from now:

This video demonstrates the hexapod router cutting a 3D face in high density foam.


Venue interviews one of the more interesting professors you’ll run into at any university, Ken Goldberg: The Hayward Fault runs through the center of the UC Berkeley campus, famously splitting the university’s football stadium…


South Korean artist Wang Zi Won creates enlightened robots, including the Buddha and an idealized mechanical doll based upon himself, as a guidepost for a future in which technology lead to self-actualization:

Humans will evolve and adapt themselves to enhanced science and technology just as men and animals in the past evolved to adapt themselves to their natural circumstances. The artist sees this as our destiny, not as a negative, gloomy dystopia.

The artist considers it important to escape from human bondage in order to achieve harmony between men and machines. He thinks this harmony can be achieved through the process of religious practices and spiritual enlightenment.

The machine man was based on the artist, but this “I” is not a past “I” any more. His own existence vanishes, and a new being-as-machine man emerges. Z is thus a process of becoming the perfect “I”.