3.07.2004

 

Quote of the week - Human exoskeletons

UC Berkeley researchers developing robotic exoskeleton that can enhance human strength and endurance

From the article:



Video is available on this page. It looks pretty boring until you realize that the guy is carrying 170 pounds.

The quote of the week is this: It is the same with chess computers -- they were predicted in the 1950s, but they were not able to beat the best human players until about 50 years later.

The reason why things like exoskeletons and chess computers are finally arriving is because Moore's Law has now given us the CPU power we need to fully implement these ideas.

Now think about some of the other computerized technologies that everyone was predicting in the 1950s: video phones, artificial intelligence, computers that understand and respond to speech, cars that drive themselves, etc. And yes, robots were predicted in the 1950s as well. As discussed in Robotic Nation, Moore's Law is this same force that is going to give us all of these long-predicted technologies -- including intelligent, completely autonomous robots -- in just two or three decades. Video phones using VoIP on the desktop or using 3G in our cell phones will be here before 2010. Most airlines and many call centers (e.g. pharmacies, phone companies) have systems that understand simple human language and respond. In March 2004 the first race involving completely autonomous self-driving cars will take place. And so on.

These new technologies, and especially the new robots, will replace human workers in much of the labor force. In the process, robots will completely change our economy. See Robotic Nation for details.

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