Monthly Archives: May 2011

New Technology Park in Bristol

The S-Park in Bristol is now nearing completion and they have released an animated artistic impression (below) of how this new business facility will look when finished. The partnership and support of Bristol Uni, Bath Uni and UWE should provide a good foundation for commercial opportunities for research based companies?

More information here: S-Park, South Glos Council

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Robotics Design Group Inc

Robotics Design Group Inc in Canada

An example of the fast moving robotics industry from around the world, the big question is; when will these innovations finally make the crossover from exclusive industrial use to social, domestic and cultural spaces?

Robot Ethics?

Ok, so ethics regarding robots is crucial but I really don’t get this or am I just being a bit stupid? Are they saying that they want to have robots make their own ethical decisions or are they just talking for the cameras. Of course robots need to be ethically designed and programmed to inhabit ethical spaces etc etc., but that’s a partnership between creators, who its for, the space it inhabits and of course the robot itself, but not of itself. How can a logarithm replicate moral and ethical phenomena, an exclusively human, social and culturally derived construct. Some academics would say anything just to get their book  sold or be on Youtube.

In this clip NAO is just doing what he’s programmed to do,  it’s the ethical, sociorobotic process behind the robot that constitutes the contemporary challenge, not the ethical dilemnas of Roy Batty style android killers of the future.

Would you like to have something that didn’t have ethics, telling you what to do around the house” – Does he mean something like an alarm clock by any chance?

More informed Research Regarding Social Robotics

The following news video is a far more cognizant approach to social robotics, it recognizes the limitations of social criteria and moves away from misguided attempts to build a Bladerunner style android which appears to be going nowhere, after billions of wasted research capital and almost a hundred years of trying. We clearly want robots to help us in a pragmatic way but it would also help if they are equipped to deal with social, cultural and haptic situations. We also appear to want our individual aesthetic preferences to be taken into consideration, so that its easier to evoke our own personal anthropomorphic tendencies. What’s the use of a service robot that we don’t really like? In this seemingly post-android robotics era we should be able to create our own robotic interface to suit our own individual requirents or needs. Robotics in general needs to wake up to user-centred, interaction design principles when looking for the so called ‘Killer App’. Even the robots below look horrible and completely devoid of any haptic criteria, so despite the overarching research objectives, put some fake fur on them for goodness sake. Good report though, a companion service style robot which can operate within an institution or a domestic setting where animals are not permitted is definitely the way to go. Just imagine if one was bedbound, it could clean our bums with a smile… to boot! Lastly, I think it is important to highlight ethical perspectives regarding robots as replacement carers. Robots cannot replace human contact but they can change the ethos and delivery of care, and for the good of everyone concerned. To take this point further please view my previous entry below or click here

A lighter look at Eldercare, Robotics and Incontinence!

After various informal discussions with carers and family carers of elderly people and of course, elderly people themselves. I prepared this small movie to bring together the overwhelming conclusions and views of everyone concerned. Some of the dialogue is actual words spoken but most is a fiction of my imagination!