Robots have been a part of science fiction for over one hundred years; however the fiction part is beginning to fade away. In today’s mainstream media we have seen the variety of roles that robots have played. Let’s look at The Jetsons, the infamous cartoon from the ‘60s about a family who lived in the year 2062 in a futuristic utopia. Or Wall-E the cute talking robot who’s designed to collect all of abandoned Earth’s waste. So why am I talking about robots? Well it seems as though robots are increasingly being designed to perform more human-like tasks.
Let’s look at Pepper, the emotional robot who has the ability to read and respond to its users mood. Definitely a step up from one of those mood rings I used to have when I was a kid! The Japanese robot essentially tries to make its users happy for just $2,000.00. If that doesn’t make you want one, I don’t know what will! Oh maybe this too, Pepper can speak up to 17 different languages.
As I was researching information on new robots, I came across PackBot, a series of military robots made by iRobot. To be honest I didn’t think things like this actually existed, but to my surprise they are real! These robots are designed to identify explosives as well as to locate them. I also learned that the U.S. military is currently using more than two-thousand of PackBots in both Iraq and Afghanistan with more being built.
Robots do serve in some very beneficial ways; however, if we look at the robots who can potentially replace fast-food workers not so much. Okay, yeah it’s kinda cool to see robots slice cheese, but to what extent will they completely replace people. In fact, University of Oxford researchers predicted that there is a 92% chance that fast-food preparation and serving will all be automated in the coming decades. That’s a little scary to think about.
So, it’s up to you decide whether or not robots are or could be, beneficial or harmful. Resultly’s former mascot is pretty cute though.