How Close Are We?

It seems like robots and androids have always been a part of the science fiction genre ever sense Issac Asimov’s Three Laws of Robotics in I,Robot (1942).  And in a smaller sense, part of our reality. But, our technology is advancing at unprecedented rates and that includes robotics. We are all familiar with robotics in industrial applications like assembly-line work born from the likes of PUMA, Programmable, Universal Machine for Assembly.

From those early days of conceptual design made real, we are on the verge of having available on a large scale autonomous vehicles (AV). Google and Uber are in the news with their latest testing and design. While it is likely we are still a little ways off from having an AV in every garage, we are so close. Imagine the possibilities and opportunities that will be afforded to those who have difficulty or are unable to operate a car due to physical limitations. Imagine, if we didn’t have to worry about drivers under the influence because they could be transported safely home without ever having to touch the controls.

In a recent article in Wired magazine, advice was given on future home design so that your domestic robot could move more freely about your home and more easily complete its tasks. Finally, we may actually have a chance at implementing Universal Design, which was originally conceived to have one design for buildings that everyone could access without having to have separate ramps and entrances for those with physical challenges. Robots may actually bring make this a reality.

There is even a robot that can write fiction, albeit not bestseller material yet. Can you imagine how productive you could be as a writer with the assistance of a robot?  Could it be the cure for writer’s block?

Thoughts to ponder as I rely on my laptop and voice recorder for now.

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