Future Tech

As I suffer from a non-ostentatious form technophilia, I read with interest and a modicum of concern about the big new EU project called RoboEarth. Mark Ward of the BBC reports that this grand project will provide domestic robots with their own broadband internet which will enable them to share a veritable Wikipedia of knowledge about…er what?

Dr. Waibel of SFIT, Zurich, suggests that one domestic robot finding an unusual situation could find solutions suggested by other robots elsewhere. A noble intention, I guess. The scene is worth exploring a little further though. For the foreseeable future, domestic robots will be mainly enabled appliances. Refrigerators for example which can monitor inventory, flag up expired items and at least print out a shopping list if not place the order for delivery. Perhaps your web connected 52inch HD TV will be monitoring your heart rate and other vital signs while you are working out with MS Kinect, and tweeting the data to the robot in your Family Doctor’s surgery. Sounds wonderful, or does it?

My mind rapidly moved on to my robotic vacuum cleaner gossiping via Robotwitter with my neighbor’s refrigerator, about what it found under my bed and that silly refrigerator posting the gem on its Robofacebook page so that the snippet goes viral by lunchtime. Of course the robots should come with privacy settings, but they will need to be variable depending on which device they are talking to, but can I rely on my refrigerator keeping the confidences shared with it by my robotic medicine cabinet?

One Response so far.

  1. jazgal says:

    It does give pause for thought - and not that far fetched - I am sure that the technology is moving rapidly along, while we have visions of Robby the Robot saying "Danger, danger, Will Robinson" in his monotone. I've already seen the robo delivery service at the hospitals, rolling supplies down the halls and into the elevators. They seem to know where they're going, unlike me. :)

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