hitchBOT

Turn on the news or search the Internet these days, and the stories you come across can be pretty depressing. There is a lot of chaos in the world today and while I appreciate the reporters who keep me informed, their pieces can also be a little overwhelming. To be sure, there is some good stuff out there too, but it can easily get lost in the noise.

In an effort to combat some of this negativity, and to remind both you and myself that there are some genuinely feel-good stories out there, I bring you hitchBOT, the child-sized robot that hitchhiked 4,000 miles across Canada in about three weeks.  Read More

Robopocalypse

Knopf Doubleday

Knopf Doubleday

I had been eyeing Daniel H. Wilson’s Robopocalypse for a long time before I actually purchased the book for myself. Its cover always caught my eye when I was shelving or straightening up the Science Fiction section during my Barnes&Noble days, and I would frequently take a moment to read the plot summary on the back. But even after I purchased the novel, it sat on my shelf for a long while before I picked it up and actually read what was inside.

I’m not entirely sure what the hold up was – most likely I was trying to convince myself that I should read something that was work-related instead – but when I saw Wilson’s Robogenesis, apparently the second book in the series, on the New Arrivals table, I knew it was time to get my butt into gear. And now, having finally read it, all I can say is “Whoa.”  Read More

RoboCop vs. RoboCop

Orion

Orion

MGM

MGM

When José Padilha’s remake of Paul Verhoeven’s RoboCop came out earlier this year, I was super excited to see it. It looked sharp and sleek, and just like everything I could want from a man-turned-cyborg action film. Plus, I enjoyed Joel Kinnaman in AMC’s The Killing and was eager to see him in a lead role.

Complicating things though was the fact that I hadn’t actually seen the 1987 original, and I felt that I needed to check that one out first. Yet before I knew it, the film was no longer playing at any of our local theaters. Luckily for me, we stumbled across a Peter Weller night (Leviathan was playing before and after RoboCop) a few weeks ago on television. We then saw that the Kinnaman version was available to rent on demand, so we made that our date night movie one Friday, enabling me to see both films in fairly quick succession.  Read More

Rise of the Machines

While the term “robot” has been a part of the English language since 1921, and societies have been interested in various automated devices for centuries, my fascination with them didn’t begin until graduate school. And even then it was kind of by accident!

I read P.W. Singer’s Wired for War: The Robotics Revolution and Conflict in the 21st Century for one of my classes and immediately became hooked. The book, which is full of pop culture references and extremely accessible, fascinated me and I found myself really intrigued by the way different cultures see robots. Read More