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Robots seem to be everywhere - from car assembly on factory floors to debris sweeping on your kitchen floor. But, with the popularity of events like Maker Faire, they are broadly entering the creative fields in new and innovative ways. More than an exotic, whimsical exercise, much of the work behind robot-inspired art installations is driving the discovery of technical innovations in communications, control, security, and safety...all of which have potential value in manufacturing, retail, healthcare, and other core industries.
In this session, you will learn about (1) quick definition and taxonomy of core robot tech, both hardware and software, (2) types of art installations, fairs, and competitions that have begun to emerge, (3) and lessons learned from the converging areas of materials science, haptics, interactive control, and communications that contribute to this new art form.
by Rich LeGrand
Telepresence is a straightforward application of robot technology -- a robot becomes your eyes, ears and possibly arms and legs which allows you to become "telepresent" in a remote location. But telepresence is only one example of how you might want to interact with a robot over the web. We are using social networks to interact with robots and physical devices so they can become part of your custom information network. We use Google technologies such a Gtalk and Android to form the basis of the network. And we plan on making middle school, high school and college kids our first users. This project is open source.
From launching robots into space to discovering distant galaxies: how the public is hacking into open source space exploration. As technology shifts from a means of passive consumption to active creation, people are collaborating on a massive scale. Amateurs were once considered to be at the crux of scientific discovery, but over time have been put on the sidelines. Despite this, citizen science is witnessing a renaissance. Agencies such as NASA no longer have a monopoly on the global space program and more participatory projects are harnessing the power of open collaboration for exploring space on a faster schedule. Instead of complaining about where our jetpack is, we can now demand to figure out how to take an elevator to space. And, while you still can’t own a CubeSat as easily as an iPod, you can join a hackerspace and learn how to engineer one. We’re also able to discover new galaxies via our web browsers, as humans are able to make classifications that well-programmed machines can’t. If tinkering with spacecrafts is more your speed, Google Lunar X PRIZE is a competition to send robots to the Moon. But you don’t need to be a robotics engineer to participate – open source teams are open for anyone to join.
by Kyle Bunch
By the time SXSW ‘11 kicks off, there will be well over 500 million “people” on Facebook and well over 250 million on Twitter.
We used to ask how many of the users on sites like MySpace had a real person on the other end. Today, as increasing sophisticated bots and artificial intelligence intersect with the simplified relationships that fill our social media spaces, we have passed the point where that really matters. The collective cry of the bots grows ever louder: "If you poke us, do we not tweet?"
Social touchpoints like toll-free numbers have long been manned by automated systems designed to put a barrier between the customer and the people behind the scenes. Is it any surprise that the same tactics are being used when it comes to social media?
This isn't just companies. The virtual world has always offered an opportunity to become someone else, from the earliest BBS and chat room environments to MMORPGs and now social networks. Even if you're not talking to a company-created bot, there's a good chance you're talking to someone pretending to be someone vastly different than their real world doppleganger.
When we establish relationships with people we've never met IRL, where does someone become real? And for someone looking for interactivity, how much does ‘real’ matter? If a relationship is little more than passing timely and relevant links and media back and forth, is finding out that you're sharing a friendship with a bot really such a bad thing?
11th–15th March 2011