Tech Thursday: Robotics

Robotics: The science and technology of robots, their design, manufacture, and application.

That's the dictionary definition of robotics. Here's what the real definition should be: The science and technology of simultaneously bringing to market both really cool and useful shit, and really cool, but not-quite-as-useful shit.


  1. The towel-folding robot blows my mind. Even if they've condensed 1.5 hours of video into 2 minutes, I don't care; it's such fluid movement for a robot. And and and and HE SMOOTHES OUT THE TOWELS BEFORE PUTTING THEM AWAY!

  2. Awesome links, good find. Smoothing out the towels was a nice touch.

    Here was the winning statement for me:

    "Equally remarkable, there already existed a body of work in the computer world on robotic laundry and towel folding."

    There already existed a body of work in the computer world on robotic laundry and towel folding? Really? That blows my mind.

    Shouldn't we just reallocate the robot-laundry-folding research teams into the blind-vision-restoring research teams? What's our priority here?

  3. I would argue no - I think people should end up wherever they find their passion leads them. This is thinking along the lines of the whole "you'll be more successful if you do what you want" - more successful individuals, I believe, lead to more successful societies.

    Ideally, there should be a process by which the blind-vision-restoring teams could quickly read a summary of the types of programming/technology the robot-laundry-folding research teams used to create their successes, and vice-versa. Therefore, each team could leverage anything useful the other has created to further advance their research.

  4. Say for example, the program that already exists that can identify a towel from a random shaped blob and find a corner? I imagine blind people would benefit from that kind of visual recognition.

  5. Oooooo - good point; I can't believe how obvious that transition was...consider it patented!