Where Did The Robots Go?


1 Where Did The Robots Go?

A generation or two ago, most of us thought of the widespread use of computers as labor saving devices. And in fact, that is probably very well the case; just that the average person is not likely to notice that very much and sees digital technology more in terms of communication devices rather than workhorses.

We may quickly follow up with two other observations. One, cyber technology has created literally millions of new tasks that did not formerly exist in the analog age and while automated processes to address these tasks were initially written and are maintained by programmers, these tasks pretty much maintain themselves on schedules and prompts, behind the scenes. The second is that the human experience is rarely one of a digital device performing labor for one’s benefit. One is either working on the computer in an environment where data processing produces more labor for us rather than saving us from it, or on are free time we, again, mostly use digital technology for communication and media.

So where are all the robots? For those of you who remember, where is Rosy from the Jetsons? Well, actually, robotic technology is slowly and quietly becoming integrated into our appliances. The most obvious of these is of course the cell phone, which after all is really just a modified personal computer with a different technology for networking. Cars are becoming more and more sophisticated as I write this, and are even starting to take over a few intervening driving tasks. But mostly, the chips in our washing machines, vacuum cleaners, and dishwashers are meant to monitor and regulate temperatures and such, not save us any more labor than they did as completely analog devices. Robotics is expensive and difficult to program and it will be a while before it becomes common. One question remains though- why is it more difficult to program your cable box and DVD player than it is to operate a personal computer?

This article was written by Dinah Jackson who enjoys writing about science and Pokemon. For the largest source of  rare Pokemon cards directly from Japan, check out this store. plush Pokemon toys, deck boxes, sleeves, charms, figures and thousands more very rare Japanese Pokemon items.

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