A recent auction lot on eBay prompted me to carry out a little research. The photograph (right) shows Walt Disney with Garco the robot in a publicity still for the Disney TV programme “Mars and Beyond” which aired on 4th December, 1957.
Garco appears to have been remotely controlled and not totally independent, but, for the time, was very advanced. The suggested uses he could be put to, in the vintage YouTube video (linked below), from the American television programme “Science Fiction Theatre” were:
• Handle dangerous chemicals, or
• Radioactive isotopes, too hot for the ordinary man, or
• Touch live wires without ever getting hurt
The programme’s presenter, Truman Bradley, goes on to say that, “some day soon, we’ll have an automatic man around the house, to mow the lawn, dry the dishes, drive the car, and babysit when we go out. That’s for tomorrow, or the day after, but tomorrow may come soon.”
Sadly, at the present time (sixty years on) I am still waiting for this automatic man to work in my home. I think it will have to be the day after tomorrow!
Read more here.
A new, and as yet unnamed Google robot, has appeared in a new “sneak peek” video on YouTube (see below). The robot, which is about one meter tall, looks just like a walking pair of trousers . . . possibly inspired by Wallace and Grommit’s Wrong Trousers?
The video was recorded by an audience member at a New Economic Summit, NEST 2016, in Tokyo. The robot, which has been under development for some time, appears to be capable of carrying heavy loads, and has superb balance.
David Hanson, robotics designer at Hanson Robotics, believes that in 20 years time robots will be indistinguishable from humans, and will walk among us. Robots will help us, play with us and teach us, he predicts that they will be our friends.
But if you read comments on YouTube (which I wish I wasn’t so tempted to do), nearly everyone commenting worries about robots killing us and taking over the planet.
People are also concerned about robot’s “dead eyes”, however I have to say that Hanson’s newest robot, Sophia, shown in the following video, is not quite as creepy as many of the others I have seen. After watching the video a few times I am getting used to her look and think that after an initial freaked-out reaction, I could get used to working with this machine. Sophia must be fairly realistic because it seems strange to call “her” a machine. Watch the video and see what you think . . .