Tim Cook just did something odd: he allowed another company to take the stage right off the bat to explain cool things people can do with iOS devices, artificial intelligence and robotics.
Boris Sofman, founder of ANKI, showed off ANKI Drive, remote control cars that connect to your iPhone via Bluetooth 4.0 and can drive themselves around a course while automatically detecting the other drivers, motions of the track, etc.
Kind of like Google’s self-driving cars, but for children. The reaction from the audience wasn’t that great, and the demo sort of failed, but you can see the possibility: iOS devices acting as the brains for real life robots.
It’s a small, fun demo, but it’s more about the possibilities here. Everything you love about video games imbued in real objects, or artificial intelligences being powered by iPhones.
You like robots? You’re gonna love this. This is an iPad app all about robots. Just robots, nothing but robots, loads and loads and loads of robots. It’s made of robots, in the same way we are made of meat. It’s fantastic.
Foxconn’s problems with worker rights are well known, and for the last year, CEO Terry Gou has been openly talking about an obvious solution to the human rights issue: replace as many of his human workers with robots as possible.
With iOS 6, Siri gained some new super powers – like the ability to check on sports scores, make restaurant reservations, even find out info on movies. With those new powers she also has some opinions about movies too.
For instance, ask Siri, “What’s Blade Runner about?” and she’ll shoot back by saying “It’s about intelligent assistants wanting to live beyond their termination dates. That doesn’t sound like too much to ask.” She does it for other robot movies too.
Go to the museum without actually going to the museum!
Remember that Big Bang Theory episode where Sheldon decides he won’t live long enough to download his consciousness into a robot body to attain immortality, so he hides himself in his room to focus on eating healthy and avoiding the dangers of life, both real and imagined? No? Well, you really should watch The Big Bang Theory more. It’s on the CBS website.
Anyway, in the episode, Sheldon uses what he calls the “Shelbot” to narrowcast his face into a wheeled robot with a big giant monitor on the top of it and a T-Shirt hanging from the front.
Now, for a measley $2400, you can do the same thing, only with iPads. I love the future.
I’ve waited over two decades to own a real robot. It was one of those silly childhood dreams to own something straight out of Terminator that obeys commands, spies on people, and rains down havoc if need be. Even though we’re in the year 2012, we still haven’t managed to create affordable robots, which is a pretty big letdown if you ask me. Thankfully, we’re getting closer, and playing with the new Parrot AR. Drone 2.0 has given me hope that the toys of the future are going to kick some major ass.
It may sound like something out of an Isaac Asimov novel or a James Cameron film, but the parent company of iPhone maker Foxconn is working to build an “empire of robots” to replace over a million Chinese workers.
To those of you who scoffed at Steve Wozniak when he said that machines will one day take over as superior beings, leaving us humans as the “dogs of the house,” take note: It seems Woz’ vision is very much becoming a reality for some Foxconn workers, who are set to be replaced by robots over the next three years.
Yesterday, Apple co-founder, occasional Cult of Mac commenter and just all-around huggable bear Steve Wozniak was awarded an honorary doctorate from Concordia University in Montreal, and as he has been wont to do quite a bit recently, he used his acceptance speech as an opportunity to talk about super-intelligent robots, futuristic androids and the ever present danger of machines enslaving humans.