When Robots Rule the World Episode
We opened the show with a favorite of many indie nation listers Housy Grooves, an awesome long, recorded live, jam by Dr. H. P. Wnkler. The track was originally released on a net label which, regrettably, is no longer in existence.
Tonight’s show involved four on-air participant and many in chat. Those on air were:
- Jeff – Indienation’s Tech Director
- John “Lumpy” Lemke – Indie Nation Owner and Unboss
- Steve – Cleveland local music buff, used to DJ at several Cleveland stations
- Dallin – Indie Nation and Lockergnome blogger, GeekLoop.com owner
Dallin, Lumpy and Jeff brought the new and Steve brought some sweet tracks from a few local Cleveland Bands.
Before we got started we on robots and music, we suggested that those wishing to help out Japan should use the Red Cross by texting 90999. We also cautioned the listeners that the scams are at a record high regarding this tragedy.
Teaching Robots To Move Like Us
Researchers at Georgia Tech are teaching robots to move like humans. Why, one might ask, would one teach a robot to move more like a human? Do the researchers have secret aspirations of entering the bot in “You Think You Can Dance?”
Seriously though, according to an article at physorg.com:
“‘It’s important to build robots that meet people’s social expectations because we think that will make it easier for people to understand how to approach them and how to interact with them,’ said Andrea Thomaz, assistant professor in the School of Interactive Computing at Georgia Tech’s College of Computing.”
I can see where that makes sense. The more human something appears, the easier it is for most of us to interact with it. The research involves having humans observe a robot and, based on the robots movements, describe what the robot is doing. The traditional jerky, start/stop movement of a robot like that of RoboCop are not a very good “human” impersonation.
Reworking joints and how the robot moves allowed the research bot, Simon, to move in a more human-like manner. The more human-like motion allows humans to better perceive what the robot is doing. The longer term focus is to actually have it perform the same motion in a somewhat different manner. After all, no human wave is “exactly” the same twice… it is believed that introducing slight variations will make the motion even more human.
We all ramble bit and discuss androids, more about robots, network assisted vehicles, robots that communicate, about being touched by robots and then got back to music.
We moved on to The Mercury Project with four tracks by this Cleveland, Ohio trio; Solar Flare, Gimble Lock, Gimble Lock, Intelligent Life and Soviet’s First.
Although we did not discuss the next two stories on the air, we opted to leave it in the show notes… kinda a bonus if you will.
Robonaut may get Japanese Girlfriend
From Yahoo News, the Japanese NASA equivalent, JAXA is working on a robot that has facial expressions and emotional responses. The reason being is two fold. The first being that Japan has a huge elderly population and ranks almost first in life expectancy. As far as her place on the ISS:
“Japan’s space agency is considering putting a talking humanoid robot on the International Space Station to watch the mission while astronauts are asleep, monitor their health and stress levels and communicate to Earth through the microblogging site Twitter. Japan’s space agency JAXA announced this week that it is looking at a plan to send a humanoid robot to the space station in 2013 that could communicate with the ground through Twitter — primarily feeding photos, rather than original ideas — and provide astronauts with ‘comfort and companionship.'”
SOURCE Hmm.. “comfort and companioinship”? Why can I not get the phrase “pleasure unit” out of my head?
Football playing robots
Professor Hiroshi Ishiguro, of Osaka University, has developed an interesting group of robots. According to Physorg.com:
“Eight robots that play football, engage in sumo wrestling and play music have been unveiled at a Peruvian university by the creator, Japanese scientist Hiroshi Ishiguro.” “…two robots are football players, two sumo wrestlers and three make music.”
While I find the short article interesting, I also must ask how 2+2+3 ends up being 8?
We also tossed in a few tracks by some other artist:
- Jeff Ronay – Open the Pod Door HAL
- Beatnik Turtle – Sorry the Warp Gate Sucked Away Our Son