Rus Articles Journal

War with robots. How are you on the invisible front?

the Science fiction which is nowadays almost forced out by a fantasy, the cyberpunk and other cousin genres, played a huge role in development of engineering thought in due time. Almost all its predictions came true: flights in space and disembarkation to the Moon, genetic engineering and the submarine, microchips and worldwide network. Whether yes it is worth listing - the list will be infinite. Perhaps, only two things remained unrealized: time machine and androids. We will talk about a time machine as - nibud another time, and today our subject - robots.

The idea of a humanoid artificial organism is old as the world. In the Illiada it is described how mechanical assistants helped Hephaestus to shape equipment for Achilles. The mention of robots is in drevnepersidsky and Ancient Chinese literature, and a story about the golem, a humanoid artificial being created in 1580 by means of secret knowledge by the Prague rabbi by the name of Lyov Bach Betsalel became a classical literary plot. It is remarkable what the golem came to life only when special parchment was put in a mouth to him, - whether not the first this description of the loaded program? After performance of the mission the golem was deactivated.

In 16 - 19 centuries tens of mechanical beings were designed, however all of them were toys - either the elementary music boxes, or a cover for being in the person. The real explosion of interest in robots was brought by science fiction of the 20th century. Carel Capek who thought up the word " robot; the first invented also revolt of robots against people (by the way, quite successful). But creativity of Isaac Asimov who made robots by habitual attribute scientifically - technical progress became the present anthem in robotics. Whether it is worth being surprised that the engineers who by then successfully realized a set scientifically - fantastic ideas, closely dealt with this issue? The first industrial Unimates manipulator put into operation at General Motors plant in 1661 designed by Engelberk and Devel was called in honor of heroes of science fiction. And soon Toyota started the first completely robotic assembly line.

Of course, industrial manipulators were rather simple machines. They did not correspond to descriptions of fantasts - were not neither autonomous, nor conceiving, nor humanoid. As it appeared, such robots are not necessary at plants (where the ideal decision are the recustomized flexible productions made of the elementary programmable manipulators), in life (where functions of house servants are scattered ten various specialized devices). Today worldwide more than one million robots work, being engaged in assembly, packing, transportation and another is significantly more productive and accurater than the person, and also replacing him on harmful or dangerous productions. But they remind nothing heroes Capek and Asimov, Adventures " Electronics; and Terminator .

It is remarkable that the technology allows to create the real robots today! Achievements in area of artificial intelligence and recognition of images, inertialess drives and bionics, and also (not the last business!) new generations of accumulators give today the chance to design such the conceiving " cars;: autonomous, moving, guided in external environment. However there is no demand for them! The brilliant idea which outstripped a level of development of technologies in due time nowadays was unclaimed. It only emphasizes the magnificent project of an android of Honda Asimo, in fact, which is an advertizing campaign.

There is only one sphere in which the real robots are very successful. These are house toys. Not to consider more and more perfect (and constantly improved) models of doggies, kitties, dinosaurs, and also fancy organisms like talkative Fabri. The modern person does not need mechanical servants at home, at work - these functions with success carry out different household, office and other devices. Only one they cannot - give warmth. But the person who got used to electronic assistants is ready to trust in them also here. We forget to communicate with similar promptly.

So robots everything is won. But it occurred at all not as at Capek or in Terminator . Guns and rockets were not required. Robots won not only vital space on production (having liquidated at the same time millions of workplaces worldwide) - they still aimed at the space in our soul so far occupied by close and live pets. In what direction they will undertake the following approach?