My Fascination with Robotics

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Last weekend, I went to a robotics festival held at a local university campus.  The advertisement had me at ‘robot petting zoo’. I was mildly disappointed to find out the robots in the petting zoo were basically wooden ‘bugs’ rolling around a grassy square. However, the exact sort of robots I wanted to see were on view. See the little ‘lamp’ above? It had movement sensors and facial recognition software, so that it interacted with viewers in the audience. It was a real life Luxo Junior, and I want one.

The goldfish with its robotic cart.

The goldfish with its robotic cart.

My other favourite robot – as a zoologist – was mechanical wheelchair/cart for an aquarium, that responds to the movement of the goldfish in the tank. A fish that was mobile!  As a writer, I could see this technology being adapted to aquatic aliens, or even dolphins. Imagine a world where you best buddy, a dolphin, could take a stroll with you.

Racing robots

Racing robots

Handing out brochures

Handing out brochures

Playing 'Connect Four' with a young robotics fan.

Playing ‘Connect Four’ with a young robotics fan.

Watching medical robots pipette fluids.

Watching medical robots pipette fluids.

Tiny robotic drone

Tiny robotic drone, and a hovering camera – I’ve seen the cameras used by real estate agents to take high angle images.

I have been a fan of robots and robotics since childhood. This interest in robots was probably inspired by Isaac Asimov. In my current Steampunk narrative, I have a automation, the precursor to the robot.

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