Lovelock's Novacene era of cyborgs may come about but until then
The variety and uses of robots are expanding rapidly but they
generally come in two variations, static and mobile. Both types
have their pluses and minuses. Static ones can be much more
powerful and have a constant supply of power and are ideal for
manufacturing jobs but not for crossing the road. Mobile ones are
limited by what they can carry, which includes a power pack and a
method of getting data and updates from a distant source. This
disadvantage may be mitigated by redox flow batteries or
similar.They are useful for remote tasks such as surveillance and
flying around airports, apparently.
Health care for the elderly and children education are widely
viewed as a future niche for the automation sector. Many countries
have a generation emergency and the development of synthetic help
in these area will become more and more desirable, Japan is one of
the countries with a large young to old divide and is actively
introducing soft robots to care for and comfort to geriatic
residents. It is simply not enough to have an efficient helper but
it must also be human like in looks and manner. The
characteristics such as large eyes, smiling features and a soft
voice are as important as the services they provide. The ideal
robot would be made of Flow Steel as in the Terminator but would
be most likely made of Flow Wool.
This is an emerging technology but may be usurped by the use of
viruses or bacteria. The scale of the robot is in the ten to the
minus ninth power and may be unfeasible or uneconomic to produce.
CRISPR and other enzyme based organic vehicles are very efficent
and use evolutionary devised mechanisms that are understood
(mostly) and are a natural fit for our genome. Of course there
maybe unnatural or militaristic needs that favour the artificial
approach. Many people would not be happy for robots to be coursing
around their blood system but you never know. The NRs might be
useful in hazardous areas to neutralise dangerous or alien areas.
Robots for fun and profit
Robots are generally thought of as mechanical/electrical machine.
Although there are many and varied units already in existence, there
will be a lot more to come. They can be autonomous or semi
autonomous but the distinction culturally may be if they do or not
look like humans. Two legged ambulation is quite rare in the animal
world and most will be four legged or more. This gives greater
stability and traversing capability. Culturally there may be a
reaction against robots that resemble us or perhaps they will be
desired as companions or more malleable entities. They will also be
useful to enter environments that are human orientated.
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