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Wednesday, April 25, 2007

History of Robots

Last night, I went to a talk about the history of robots, which was presented at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center. The speaker, Daniel Grossman, distinguished between devices that merely performed an interesting function -- like mechanical clocks -- and devices he considered to be true robots. According to Grossman, robots, unlike mechanical clocks, behave in surprisingly animate ways. Thus, Grossman would not consider old cathedral clocks to be robots, while he would consider ASIMO, the walking humanoid device built by Honda, to be one.

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