NooTriX

Yes to Robotics! No to Killer Robots!

Yes to Robotics! No to Killer Robots!

Most TED talks if not all are thought provoking. The one given by moral philosopher Peter Singer on effective altruism (see Video 1) at TED 2013 Longbeach (CA) is no exception. This talk is actually a call for action. We don’t need to be billionaires to help others around the world. We can either offer part of our time or our money. However, this emotion-driven reaction can be leveraged by using our brains to figure out the most effective way to use resources we have at hand.

What’s the connection with robotics? The answer to this question lies in another question: What can roboticists, do to change the world for the better? As a matter of fact, there are already people that use robots in projects that positively impacts our society or our planet.


Video 1: Peter Singer TED talk: The why and how of effective altruism

Some use robots to fight the global warming. Those are oceanologists and climatologists that collect data (temperature, acidity…) of the oceans using swarms of robots. Land mine detection and clearing is another robotic application that is important not only to the military, but also for humanitarian purpose. Anti-personnel landmines remain hidden in the ground long after wars are over, injuring or killing thousands of people every year. Our friends from the Robots podcast had recorded in 2011 an episode on this topic. It featured a discussion on demining robots, used in the field, such as the one of Video 2.


Video 2: Demining Robot

Providing some level of autonomy to disabled people is yet another worthy application of robotics. With the advances in brain interfaces, we have seen in the past year experiments where paraplegic people control robotic arms (see Video 3). Other projects aim at building robotic limbs for amputees. An impressive example is the Deka arm (aka Luke’s arm). Although it’s funded by the military, the product is for civil applications.


Video 3: Paraplegic woman controlling a robotic arm

Yet another interesting use of robots is rescue operations. Dr. Robin Murphy from Texas A&M University is a pioneer in this field. She had founded the “Roboticists Without Borders” action to deploy robots after disasters. There are other folks also targeting the same problem. They compare to each other in events such as the robocup rescue which 2013 edition will take place next july in the Netherlands.

Using robots for the best is great. But, preventing their use for the worse is equally important. This is the case of the campaign against killer robots. And for this, no need to do a lot of research or development to be effective. All you have to do is to simply join the movement. Our friends form Cause Ribbon provided us with yet another simple way to act: a “Stop Killer Robots” ribbon to display on your web page.

We are pretty sure that all what we have listed above is just the tip of the iceberg. Please share with us your actions and ideas to make the future bright using robotics and avoid a technological dystopia.

Related Articles

2 Comments

  1. NooTriX
    NooTriX May 29, 20:42

    A humanitarian use of drones: build a high resolution 3D map (5-10 centimeters per pixel) of Haiti to help deliver goods and services of first necessity such as food, water, medicine. The map covering 45 square kilometers took only 6 days to build.

    Reply to this comment
  2. NooTriX
    NooTriX June 26, 10:44

    Another interesting application of drones is agriculture. As explained by Chris Anderson from 3D Robotics in the video below, drones can be used by farmers to dramatically reduce the use of pesticides by scanning the crop daily. Insects or other organisms harmful to cultivated plants can then be detected at early infection stage and destroyed in spot.

    Reply to this comment

Write a Comment

Latest Posts

    Anki Strikes Back with a Cute Little Robot

Anki Strikes Back with a Cute Little Robot

0 comment Read Full Article
    Will Boston Dynamics Make Domestic Robots?

Will Boston Dynamics Make Domestic Robots?

1 comment Read Full Article
    Will Your Next Robot Take Care of Folding Your Clothes?

Will Your Next Robot Take Care of Folding Your Clothes?

0 comment Read Full Article
    Machines Uprising: From Fun To Deep Thoughts

Machines Uprising: From Fun To Deep Thoughts

0 comment Read Full Article
    Automation for Pets Care = Less Chores + Happier Pets

Automation for Pets Care = Less Chores + Happier Pets

0 comment Read Full Article
    Grillbot Takes Care of the Chore of BBQ Grill Cleaning

Grillbot Takes Care of the Chore of BBQ Grill Cleaning

0 comment Read Full Article
    Roomba 980 vs Neato BotVac Connected: Review of the Two Best Robotic Vacuum Cleaners

Roomba 980 vs Neato BotVac Connected: Review of the Two Best Robotic Vacuum Cleaners

8 comments Read Full Article
    Neato Botvac Connected: The First Vacuum Robot Controlled from a Smartwatch

Neato Botvac Connected: The First Vacuum Robot Controlled from a Smartwatch

1 comment Read Full Article
    Best Wireless All-In-One Inkjet Printers with Scanner and Copier

Best Wireless All-In-One Inkjet Printers with Scanner and Copier

1 comment Read Full Article
    Drone Racing League Level 1: Miami Lights  Semi Finals

Drone Racing League Level 1: Miami Lights Semi Finals

0 comment Read Full Article
    Vacuum Robot Love Story Commercial

Vacuum Robot Love Story Commercial

0 comment Read Full Article
    Drone Racing League 2016 Season Debuts on February 22nd

Drone Racing League 2016 Season Debuts on February 22nd

0 comment Read Full Article
    Pepper Still Needs Paper Instructions!

Pepper Still Needs Paper Instructions!

0 comment Read Full Article
    Turn your Web Searches into Trees and Help Reducing CO2 in the Atmosphere

Turn your Web Searches into Trees and Help Reducing CO2 in the Atmosphere

0 comment Read Full Article
    Computers with Emotions Talk by Peter Robinson

Computers with Emotions Talk by Peter Robinson

1 comment Read Full Article
    Robots can Help Understand Humans Talk by Pierre Yves Oudeyer

Robots can Help Understand Humans Talk by Pierre Yves Oudeyer

0 comment Read Full Article
    Human-Level AI Talk by Murray Shanahan

Human-Level AI Talk by Murray Shanahan

0 comment Read Full Article
    Upgrade Your Roomba to Control it via Your Smartphone

Upgrade Your Roomba to Control it via Your Smartphone

0 comment Read Full Article
    Starwars BB-8 Droid Working Miniature Version Awakens

Starwars BB-8 Droid Working Miniature Version Awakens

0 comment Read Full Article
    Best Alternative to iPad Mini 4: Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 8″

Best Alternative to iPad Mini 4: Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 8″

0 comment Read Full Article

More Posts