Archive for the Week 3 Category


Posted in Week 3 on December 14, 2007 by abradbury

It is amazing how our opinions on robots have changed so drastically since their introduction to the world. I’ve read many old sci fi novels (I’m a nerd like that) and today it’s comical how terrified the world was of robots. Looking at todays world and how dependent we are on electronics it’s hard to imagine where we would be if our fear of robotics had held. I believe that part of what really changed our view of robots are books such as I, Robot. In this collection of short stories the reader goes on a journey, starting at the beginning with a fear and dread of a robotic companion, through robots taking over, robots having feelings, robots running away, and ending with preferring robots over the despicable humans that created them. I believe that robotics is what is helping us towards our next big step, whatever it may be. We don’t quite have flying cars yet, and we might end up in “The Matrix.” But I say forge onward and lets hope we end up in “Futurama” instead.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) vs. Biology

Posted in Week 3 on December 4, 2007 by ava3

So what makes humans (the biological form) so different from computers that think on their own (AI)? Well, if it is not enough, it is explained in the name. Bio means life (therefore biology is the study of life, or living things). And Artificial intelligence is just that, something that is fake, and immitation, and man-made intelligence. We might as well call is faux intelligence.The first thing that comes to my mind when I think Artificial Intelligence is the 2001 movie.Showing the varried ways we perceive robatos, AI, in the furture, as machines, and cyborgs.If you have never seen it, the basic idea is a boy robot, David, is created, the first of its kind to actually have emotions. He “replaces” a son who has gone, but once the son is revived David’s whole world changes. Interestingly enough, the movie is based on the idea of “Pinocchio.” I don’t know about you, but I never took “Pinocchio” out of context to think of him as a robot. But both sories have similar concepts, an inatimate object given life, but not only life, true emotions. Both desperately have this desire to be real. In some subcontext, Pinocchio is a wooden robot.Another movie I thought of relating to AI is Bicentennial Man. The same concept is given where a robot, the first of its kind, starts to have REAL emotions, which (Like in “AI”) encourages the humans surrounding to nuture and treat him as a human. He then goes on a quest to find other robots like him, and later to become accepted as a human. – Side comment- The ending is amazing! So meaningful.Playing the piano, and feeling the music, giving it a human qualityTo make a refference, a deffinition for AI is “the area of computer science focusing on creating machines that can engage on behaviors that humans consider intelligent.” The world is currently fascinated by AI and “advancing the understanding of the mechanisms underlying thought and intelligent behavior and their embodiment in machines.”What is the human obsession with making copies of ourselves? If you notice, in bot movies “AI” and “Bicentennial Man” all robots were created with human-like features. Why do we do that? Why not shape them how we veiw aliens might look like. Or just give them blank faces. By creating an outer exterior of a human, we are internalizing the idea of living and creating life. -On a note for Halloween- Scientists might as well be making Frankensteins, bringing life to what is nonliving, and trying to give it a human quality.In the movie “The Island” copies of humans are created in order to provide organs for sick people. This idea more reffers to cloning rather than robots, but has the same idea – genetically creating life. Humans seemed to be fixed on abnormalities against nature.In many movies, the robots, or AI, try to take over (like the Marix shown in class). This almost seems as if humans degrate themselves, as if we are inferior to our own machines. iRobot does the same thing, where a malfunction occurs and robots dominate. How can humans be so weak that we do not even believe we can overpower our own creation? I guess it just goes back to Frankenstein. Everyone grab their pitch forks!It seems to me the reason we want to give life is because of the artist within scientists, and visa versa. It is human that we want to see life, passion, and emotion in all that surrounds us, which is what drives art. But art can also be mathematical, in placement of shapes, structures, or figures, or counting beats in music. Rather than be dull, we use our creative and artistic mind to design the shape of the robot, and the mentality for its creation. The science is incorporated through the process of building the structure and wanting to create.Science basically means the systematic knowledge or practice of; the study of the natural world; A branch of knowledge based on objectivity and involving observation and experimentation. And, comparatively, the meaning of art is merely the products of human creativity; a superior skill that you can learn by study and practice and observation.In this sense, isn’t art just a form of science, and science a branch of art?

Robots, Art and Science

Posted in Week 3 on October 23, 2007 by danaharris1

The lectures this week reminded me how much creativity has to go the creation of machines, and robotics in general. To a certain extent, the robots we were shown are like works of art in their own field—someone had to create their design and build it essentially from scratch. It was interesting to look at the robots that are being created today, and be able to compare them to the stereotype of what societies general fear of the future manifested itself as fifty years ago—it’s pretty close. And, to see Chaplin’s satire about the second industrial era reminded me that we as a culture have always kind of feared technology and scientific advances—because they bring about change. And, although ultimately this change is inevitable, we as people (not necessarily you or I specifically) but the general population tend to fear the unknown.
The other thing this week’s lectures reminded me of is how connected art, science and technology REALLY are. Especially if you look at the old science drawings, like this one by Descartes ( The drawing is clearly scientific, however it’s also a really cool drawing, that many would call art. Which also ties itself into the concept of the constant scientific analogies that have been used through history, comparing the body to machines or whatever technological advances were occurring at the time. There was Galen who compared the brain to sewers, then Kepler- I think- who used visual machines to explain how the eye worked, and of course the comparison of the brain to the computer. These analogies—comparing science to technology often were expressed in art- or drawings, which I would easily frame and put on my wall—like this one by Kepler (
So, in short, this week’s lectures really reminded me how science, art and technology have always kind of been tied together, throughout history. That often times they need one another to gain advances in their own fields. And, that the rift between science, art and technology is more recent than previously expected.

The Practicality of Art

Posted in Week 3 on October 22, 2007 by chrisbrackert

            In the segment of Charlie Chaplin’s Modern Times, where the robot feeds him so he does not have to use his hands, the one line that stands out to me is when the business man says, “It’s no good – it isn’t practical.”  This line has made me think about what sort of message this video is supposed to be getting across.  Some people can say that scientists and inventors sometimes go beyond the practical boundaries of things and instead create, simply for creation’s sake.  Are there moral issues at hand that the scientists over look at times?  Is there a point where the practicality of a machine could overshadow traditional values?  Or is there always going to be that sense of, “I’m going to eat this food with my hands even if there is a machine that can feed it to me.”?  It seems to me that the futuristic dream of a food pill that can replace an entire meal would never be accepted by the public. 

            At the same time, it would not be too difficult to find people who would argue for the superior practicality of science over art.  Rational knowledge has always been traditionally superior to that which can not be proved according to the Scientific Method.  In Modern Times, by placing The Scientist on the same level of impracticality as The Artist, the movie seems to be legitimizing art to those who would belittle in the presence of science.  Art has its practical uses in society and culture, and although the traditional sciences can not prove this, the more modern, social sciences make use of this idea very often.  This, to me, is another perfect example of the blurring differences between art, science, and technology in modern times.

Robotics, Technology, Industrialization = An Amazing Future (Daniel Waltrip)

Posted in Week 3 on October 22, 2007 by dwaltrip77

Industrialization and Robotics were two major topics this week. These topics are obviously stem from the “technologic” aspect of this class. Over the past two centuries, starting with the industrial revolution, our world and how humans live, work, operate and function in life has changed far more rapidly than ever before. In class we saw clips from several famous science fiction films, which is always fun. However an important point was made. We are coming ever closer to achieving such things. Robots are now commonly employed in countless industries and perform quickly and much more efficiently mechanical processes. Artificial intelligence, though nothing like “The Matrix” or “I Robot”, is improving quite rapidly. We have all seen the commercials with Honda’s amazing running, stair climbing humanoid.

This is part of the natural progression of technology that began to increase exponentially with the industrial revolution of the 1800’s and the incredible developments of the 20th century (fueled by two world wars, NASA, the advent of globalization, instant worldwide communication and sharing of knowledge and ideas, and the birth of the computer age). Things will only continue to improve, changed radically, amaze us, and catch us off guard. I want to stress that last point, because a common theme that we witnessed in the sci-fi movies was a fear of the future and technology. It is natural to fear that we which we don’t understand, and I would pretty freaked out too if robots with advanced AI started acting up. However, we are nowhere near that point. I suppose that people will always fantasize about killer robots (e.g. The SNL episode that Gil showed us about “Robot Insurance”), but I personally anticipate such developments. If technology continues on its present upward course, my generation should see very exciting, positive changes in our lifetime.

For an example of what robotic technology is bringing us, here’s a youtube video of a UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle). The next step? Unmanned tanks? Robotic soldiers? Fighting a war without any casualties? Only time will tell…

Tesla’s Tech & Industrialization – Edwin Chavez – Week 3

Posted in Week 3 on October 21, 2007 by edwinc

The reading on “Spaceship Earth” was very interesting. I had no idea that the Great Pirates dominated the world due to their resistance to “specialize,” and ironically, that they were extinct because of their later (inevitable?) greed to “over-specialize.” Also, I had never thought of Earth as our “spaceship,” that each minute the planet is “ON” both “spinning at one hundred miles” and zipping “in orbit at one housand miles (p.21)” In effect, we have not been taking care of our Spaceship Earth, it is as an “integrally-designed machine which to be persistently successful must be comprehended and serviced in total (p. 21).” Also, it is clear that extinction can be manifested (in all possible scenarios) by the same repercussion of “over-specializing” as assessed by the two studies in anthropology and biology.

In the other hand, I had been very impressed and inspired with the honorable Nikola Tesla (1856 – 1943) since my first introduction to him and believe he is not only a great inventor, physicist, mechanical engineer, and electrical engineer, but the greatest bioelectric pioneer of our time and more importantly, I’m convinced he’s the father of industrialization. It was Nikola Tesla, not Marconi, who harnessed the first radio; it was Tesla, not Edison, who proposed the system of electric power disribution embedded throughout the world: Tesla’s genius literally lit the whole world when it once was all dark. There would be no computers or anything involving the advanced electronic systems without the genius bedrock as Nikola Tesla. In stark contrast to many scientists, Tesla was that single thread in the tapestry that was able to see the pattern of the grand design.

Here is a nice shirt you can buy at ebay commenting on Tesla. Read it:

We can associate the advancing field of robotics with Tesla as well. Humans and robots have many things in common. I have studied again and again throughout many campaigns in my life, and have experimented with the notion that that we are, in brilliant design, fundamentally electrical beings with spinning electrons, resistors, capacitors, semi-conductors, batteries and electrical wires in our body. More importantly, that we are also magnetic energy, color and sound.
Tesla is also the founder of the aura. He electrified himself to photograph his aura! He theorized that “all cells are vibrating” and worked on optimizing human cellular electrical and biophotonic environment that allows dysfunctional cells to return to a more perfect and natural state, in effect, helping the body heal “itself.” That is, everything in the universe vibrates and oscillates. Tesla touched upon principles of resonance and quantum physics, he was able to see beyond material matter and in to the driving forces of nature. On his death, Tesla’s further powerful research was “confiscated by the FBI and filed away known only by a select few men in black (film).” Here is more data on some of the technologies like the “Body Regenerator,” 1 and “Tesla Shield” 2, made possible through Tesla’s teachings.

I started studying Tesla and how he had use electro-therapies for healing, by enhancing the subtle energy fields of the human body, when I learned that those teachings were suppressed so I curiously evaluated the devices myself with positive results. I even have a “molecular enhancer” which incorporates his famous Tesla coil. If you’d ever seen Tesla holding a bulb, that bulb has inert gas (either Xenon, Krypton, Argon, or Neon gases). Tesla uses a a tower of coiled copper wire, as utilized in transformers, and this copper creates violet lightening sparks when powered by voltage. You can safely hold the light bulb since it insulates the voltage and what you absorb is the electromagnetic power that raises your cells vibration to an optimal state (3). This device literally charges us back up with energy so that all of the chemical processes can take place. For example: the cancer cell is 15 mill-volts. A normal cell is 100 mill-volts or more. So you are charging yourself back up and you are replacing all frequencies because that is all that we are, we are spinning electrons of electricity. Coincidentally, In the Frankenstein movie they had the big Tesla coils that would shoot electricity up through the air.

Tesla was working on such medical devices back in the 1800’s with the high voltage and high frequency inert gases on animals and human beings. He was focused on learning how to help heal people but his discoveries were suppressed. Many devices inspired by Tesla are being used in the home and in holistic clinics around the world but is thwarted by the pharmaceutical industry which favors the economy and the government.

Nikola Tesla is truly the the forgotten genius that lit the whole world. It is funny that shortly before Edison died, Edison said that his biggest mistake he had made was in trying to develop directed current, rather than the vastly superior alternating current system that Tesla had proposed to him (4).

Frank Nicholas-Robot-Week3

Posted in Week 3 on October 21, 2007 by franknicholas
Robots are becoming more and more a part of society. As I was writing, or pretending to write on this, this I was watching Oceans 11, and in the movie they have a robot that drives a van to an airport as a distraction. But even though it’s a movie these robots do exist, and there are cars that “drive themselves.” I find this to be amazing. Soon everyone might have cars that can drive themselves, and for some reason some people think it’s a bad thing, but I think it is great. Imagine how much u can get done on your way to work if all you have to sit in a car, which if it drove itself would probably have a desk and computer in it so you could do whatever in the car.

Some people think that robots are making people lazy, or dependent on technology in today’s world. i think they are totally wrong though. (I am watching more tv, futurama, and there is a robot that can interact like a human. And this may scare people too because they will think robots could take over real people.)
(its the one in the middle)
I think having robots do things for us is great. it will make it so we can do so much more with out time, and with that maybe we can advance as a society.