Thursday, March 13, 2008

Astronauts to Work on Giant Robot - It's About Time!

Today's headlines included this story from the Associated Press:

Astronauts to Work on Giant Robot

and really, it's about time. All I can say, is the pictures from NASA better come back looking something like this:

because, to be honest, to this point the future has kind of sucked, robot-wise.

When I was a kid, the future we imagined was not a digital one. It was one full of really cool mechanical stuff - flying cars for every household, ray-guns, hotels on Mars, and robots that looked pretty much like people but were smarter and didn't mind doing all of the heavy lifting for us. They looked something like "Robot" from Lost in Space:

Now, the future that I've grown into has some really amazing stuff, but it's all about computers, which just aren't that cool to look at. Where are the floating cities? Why are cars still burning gasoline, of all things, instead of being nuclear-powered? Why aren't we battling invading aliens?

Now, admittedly, there are a few things out there that have been better than expected.

The iPhone does kick Kirk's communicator's butt. The communicator couldn't even take pictures or play music. But you know, compared to giant laser-beam-wielding flying killer robots, the iPhone really isn't much. If the future does have to be all about computers, then we should at least expect fully sentient ones that go bad once in a while, like HAL:

Is that too much to ask? But maybe, with the news from NASA today, we're actually heading into a future that will look much more futuristic for a change. Time will tell.

No comments: