Saturday, 28 December 2013

RUST ~Final Major Project~ 'How Robots Will Change The World'

I recently watched this documentary, that focused on the recent developments and advances in robot technology, as part of my research and collection of inspirational and relevant things to my robot themed FMP. I watched this on recommendation from a friend, and I really found it a very insightful, and in some ways scary look at how far the developments in robotics has come, especially in the most recent years, where robots have been focused on to tackle disaster situations in which humans aren't able to deal with directly. 
The Robot above is more of a mobile Mech suit, created as a pet project by one man, more as a work of technological art and to see if it could be done more than anything. It was named 'Kuratas', and possess one arm that can grip, and another that can be fitted with guns (!!) ... though weather these weapons actually work wasn't stated, the fact that this sort of thing can be created by one man is a pretty scary thought, and definitely brings to life the sort of Mech's and ridiculous weaponry seen in sci fi that has obviously influenced Kuratas' creator. 

Probably the worlds most famous and recognizable robot outside of the world of movies, is 'Asimo' created by Honda, as the first proper Bipedal, humanoid robot that can think and adapt on its own, and can listen to and engage in conversation, with multiple people at the same time. It is also the first robot created that was capable of running, with both feet leaving the ground just like humans. Work began on bringing Asimo to life way back in 1986, and even though he is an incredible creation in terms of what he is capable of, the Fukushima Nuclear meltdown incident was a wake up call to a lot of robotics engineers and scientists. One of the main reasons the nuclear disaster was as bad as it was, was due to humans not being able to reach the interior of the plant due to radiation, and it was seen that if they had a robot capable, they could have averted most of the damage sooner and contain the situation. 
Fukushima acting as a catalyst, production began, not only in Japan, but in America to create various robots as counter measures to various disaster situations that may occur in the future. 

Asimo could do many things, but wasn't kitted out to maneuver rough terrain. So a focus was made on creating robots that could tackle such situations: Robots that could climb stairs, and move about in ways that humans could not were created, with various purposes, from warfare, carrying supplies into danger zones, climbing and operating dangerous machinery. 
(To the left) ATLAS: A robot in current development, to combat disaster situations. Though bipedal in form, it has more flexibility in its joints allowing it to adapt to more situations than humans can. The proposition by DARPA, to the rest of the scientists of the world that specialise in robotics was to focus on the creation of robots that were based on accomplishing the following things: 
~Drive Vehicles
~Walk over rubble
~Remove obstacles
~Open doors
~Break walls with tools
~Climb ladders
~Turn valves
~Make repairs

Multiple factory's and production plants all over the world utilize robots already, as part of their workforce. Even working alongside them, as seen in many Japanese factory's. 
This look at the current state of robotics, and where the technology is heading, is really helpful in understanding how I can create my own characters based around the same technology. The world in which My characters will be set is so far into the future that robots have become old and forgotten, and so raises some interesting questions about the characters i will create: What was their original purpose? How come robots are no longer needed? What sort of society and world now exists that has advanced past robotics? Some of these things do not directly affect my final outcome for my project, but It would be interesting to see how much I can imagineer through the artwork i create in this project, and the world i could bring to life through the characters I want to create. 

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