Tuesday, January 26, 2010


And the little guy.


Michael Stone said...

I'll have a big one please, with a saddle, and wrap a small one to take home for the kids to play with.

Owen Roberts said...

Nice low centre of gravity :_)

Graeme said...

Simply amazing both of them. I wonder how many lines of code went into them? How many little positioning sensors and gyros, Infrared range finders or whatever they use to see their way through they have? Also wonder how long their batteries last? And how big are the computers that run them; are they off the shelf PCs, do they have little solid state hard drives, is it all onboard for autonomy or is there some remote control (the little one had ariels so one guesses that one processes elswhere)? Watching the big one was like watching any animal trying to walk on ice.

vaudeviewgalor raandisisraisins said...

i see all the evil little uses this poor guy will have against the public in a few years. like Blackwater Inc the u.s., our gov will blame it on the stink bug. "sabotaged by terrorists".

whoops, we're idiots:

Neal Asher said...

Graeme, my thoughts too. When you consider what was involved in it correcting after nearly falling over the mind boggles. Incidentally, it was walking on ice at one point. As for the power ... maybe you watched it without the sound on? When it's in the lab it's connected up to cables, when outside you hear something like a strimmer engine running.

Graeme said...

I listened, and made the assumption that they were using something noisy attached as a generator.

When you see stuff like that, the new Apple IPad, Hondas little robot, the latest solid state drives, your piece regards the Coca Cola battery, and a piece I read elsewhere on the viability of fusion energy with just a little more will. You have to think that we are close to another giant leap forward.

With global warming (real or not), and all the worlds other issues political, conflicts, poverty, youth crime etc, it really does feel sometimes like we are going to tip over into total chaos.

And then you look at these slices of positive life. And I think it can't all be bad. Maybe there is already a quiet war going on, not machine minds, but good old fashioned human science, keeping out of the main headlines, not making promises it can't deliver on, just plugging away at the things we all worry about or want. Subtly changing our perspective and more so with the net, and the unedited snippets they can cast out for us to then spread virally.

And that is a very clever device in itself, we get a snippet of film, we feel we made a discovery of our own, we get a positive feeling from it, we pass it on, we feel good about that action. It does make you wonder about greater minds making moves, or whether it’s just a series of random coincidence.

Question: Is this kind of ramble better suited to Subminds? And is there a way to link comments and debates arising, rather than just clogging the blog?

Neal Asher said...

I've no problems with rambles here, Graeme, I do enough of them myself.

Whatever you might think of the state of the (developed) world now, we're all better off than we were before. Why? Because of scientists, technicians and engineers. Lets face it, the guy who invented the vacuum cleaner did more to improve the human condition than any politician, philosopher, priest, sociologist, (fill in own choice of non-producer) you care to name.

Graeme said...

Such a good point, every now and then a bit of wisdom comes out that just shines a light.

Add to your new parties manifesto.