6 thoughts on “Welcome Your New Robot Masters”

  1. That shit rocks! Very cool and exciting progress on a very hard problem. Of course, I would have done it a bit different, as I don’t believe for a second their statement about not being able to correct for off-balance poses using limbs, as I just did this myself a few days ago, saving me a from a nasty fall. I think the problem they and others have is their adherence to “purity” by not allowing for a few less anthropomorphic liberties, like VERY long arms swinging with opposing legs, or even a tail as a balancing aid. They may be able to make things work eventually by modeling humans, but from a practical standpoint I bet they could get to a useful robot much sooner if they took a few liberties. It probably doesn’t matter though, because until there are some HUGE advances in energy storage, walking robots just don’t have the efficiency required to compete with wheeled vehicles. The tremendous advantage they have in mobility just isn’t required for most applications that are likely to be the killer app needed to get these things really taking off. Then again, I could just be an old neigh-sayer who needs to shut up and let the kids play!

    As to the more interesting Gynoids, I still remember fondly a gallery showing about 10 years ago where Hajime Sorayama was actually in attendance to meet his fans and sign books. I asked him to sign a copy of one his books for me, and when he finished I said no, I don’t want it in english, I want it in Japanese. His translator tried to explain this to him, and after about 30 seconds they told me that nobody had ever asked for that before and he was very happy to do it. Stupid Americans!

  2. Still don’t know what a Gynoid is. I remember some fantastic air-brushed female chromatic fantasies back in the early days of Omni magazine. Is that the work of the Japanese artist that you mention?? Of course I could go look it up, but I’m hoping you’ll provide a link or a couple of representative shots (copyright permitting)

  3. Masterchief: That make sense. I would think duplicating the ambulation of other primates, such as gorillas and chimps – knuckle draggers, literally – would be a more logical first step. And then you’d have your army of fighting robot monkeys.

    Tires also seem like a big step up, and tractor treads, ala tanks and Johnny 5, would be a decent compromise for alternate terrain.

    Bladerunner: A gynoid is the gender counterpart to the android, and a frequent subject of master painter/airbrush artist Hajime Sorayama. See the link I provided in the article. The site is best viewed during your “alone time” at home.

  4. Yes, these are the very same pieces I saw in Omni magazine. Of course, the ones featured there were very tame and more on the suggestive side. Still, they were quite good and now I have an artist’s name to attach to them.

    If you want to read more on the weird side of “comfort” technology, you may want to read Harlan Ellison’s ‘Catman’ which features a future culture where all hedonistic and sybaristic practices are permitted. All, except for the practice of ‘mech-coucher.’ You can guess how it involves gynoids.

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