Robot Round-Up

ChasFink

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FedEx delivery robots invade New York City streets

Resistance is futile.

A bunch of FedEx delivery robots rolled around lower Manhattan as part of a promotion last week, prompting bewildered pedestrians to share videos of the jarring sight on social media.

“Wall-E out here flexing all over FedEx delivery drivers,” wrote @WhatIsNY while posting a video of one of the boxy cyborgs-on-wheels — part of FedEx’s “SameDay Bot” courier fleet — cutting through a group crossing Crosby Street near Houston Street.

https://nypost.com/2019/11/24/fedex-delivery-robots-invade-new-york-city-streets/

The most interesting part:

City Hall said Sunday the devices will be removed on sight.

“These large autonomous robots are not allowed on city streets, and they’re a public safety hazard for New Yorkers. We’ll use appropriate methods to remove them immediately,” City Hall spokesman Will Baskin-Gerwitz told The Post.
 

Swifty

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Scientists use stem cells from frogs to build first living robots

Researchers in the US have created the first living machines by assembling cells from African clawed frogs into tiny robots that move around under their own steam.
One of the most successful creations has two stumpy legs that propel it along on its “chest”. Another has a hole in the middle that researchers turned into a pouch so it could shimmy around with miniature payloads.
“These are entirely new lifeforms. They have never before existed on Earth,” said Michael Levin, the director of the Allen Discovery Center at Tufts University in Medford, Massachusetts. “They are living, programmable organisms.”

https://www.theguardian.com/science...cells-from-frogs-to-build-first-living-robots
 

Mythopoeika

I am a meat popsicle
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Scientists use stem cells from frogs to build first living robots

Researchers in the US have created the first living machines by assembling cells from African clawed frogs into tiny robots that move around under their own steam.
One of the most successful creations has two stumpy legs that propel it along on its “chest”. Another has a hole in the middle that researchers turned into a pouch so it could shimmy around with miniature payloads.
“These are entirely new lifeforms. They have never before existed on Earth,” said Michael Levin, the director of the Allen Discovery Center at Tufts University in Medford, Massachusetts. “They are living, programmable organisms.”

https://www.theguardian.com/science...cells-from-frogs-to-build-first-living-robots
It's taking a dark turn. Frankensteinian!
 

EnolaGaia

I knew the job was dangerous when I took it ...
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It's taking a dark turn. Frankensteinian!
That's Frog-kenschteen!!

Once the frog-based bots become sophisticated, and the species memory encoded in their originating stem cells surfaces, things will take a nasty turn ...

FrogMadScience-Sieber-Lonati.jpg
SOURCE: Rudolf Sieber-Lonati cover art; Macabros #4 (1960).​
 

Anome

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Scientists use stem cells from frogs to build first living robots

Researchers in the US have created the first living machines by assembling cells from African clawed frogs into tiny robots that move around under their own steam.
One of the most successful creations has two stumpy legs that propel it along on its “chest”. Another has a hole in the middle that researchers turned into a pouch so it could shimmy around with miniature payloads.
“These are entirely new lifeforms. They have never before existed on Earth,” said Michael Levin, the director of the Allen Discovery Center at Tufts University in Medford, Massachusetts. “They are living, programmable organisms.”

https://www.theguardian.com/science...cells-from-frogs-to-build-first-living-robots
Massachusetts you say? Anywhere near Miskatonic? Innsmouth, maybe?
 

PeteByrdie

Privateer in the service of Princess Frideswide
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I'm struck by the difference in Swifty's last two posts on this thread. The metallic servant of yesteryear's scientific speculation never really came to pass. Sure, we have various increasingly intelligent machines aiding our daily lives, but true artificial intelligence hasn't progressed to giving us truly autonomous, versatile robotic servants. As recently as the Terminator and Matrix movies, speculation still focused on machines of a very inorganic nature. It seems artificial intelligence, should it be realised, will be placed in bodies of an organic nature, or composed of meta materials that mimic organic composition. The term 'robot', as it has been used, may have no real meaning in the future.
 

Swifty

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I'm struck by the difference in Swifty's last two posts on this thread. The metallic servant of yesteryear's scientific speculation never really came to pass. Sure, we have various increasingly intelligent machines aiding our daily lives, but true artificial intelligence hasn't progressed to giving us truly autonomous, versatile robotic servants. As recently as the Terminator and Matrix movies, speculation still focused on machines of a very inorganic nature. It seems artificial intelligence, should it be realised, will be placed in bodies of an organic nature, or composed of meta materials that mimic organic composition. The term 'robot', as it has been used, may have no real meaning in the future.
This does seem like a step closer to replicants, yes.
 

EnolaGaia

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This does seem like a step closer to replicants, yes.
Maybe, maybe not ...

The fictional replicants were bioengineered so as to be constructed (formed, whatever ... ) of organic materials. They were specifically designed to be "replicas" of natural biological humans. In effect they were artificially produced human organisms intended to serve as human analogues.

The frog-derived "robots" are similarly produced using biological materials and similarly designed or configured for specific capabilities or uses. However, they're not constructed or configured to be, or to operate as, artificially produced frogs. They're automata (robots) that happen to be constructed using biological material from natural frogs. At least at this early stage of research, they're not frog replicas in the same way the fictional replicants were clearly human replicas.
 

Swifty

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Maybe, maybe not ...

The fictional replicants were bioengineered so as to be constructed (formed, whatever ... ) of organic materials. They were specifically designed to be "replicas" of natural biological humans. In effect they were artificially produced human organisms intended to serve as human analogues.

The frog-derived "robots" are similarly produced using biological materials and similarly designed or configured for specific capabilities or uses. However, they're not constructed or configured to be, or to operate as, artificially produced frogs. They're automata (robots) that happen to be constructed using biological material from natural frogs. At least at this early stage of research, they're not frog replicas in the same way the fictional replicants were clearly human replicas.
I think it slightly resembles a Tardigrade.
 
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