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Whee. I've exhumed the old RPG game again, and am starting on another flurry of work that, judging from past experience, will continue until I become frustrated on some detail and then stop until it's been so long that the next time I pick it up my initial enthusiasm will carry me over the bump. Last time, the bump was getting the mugshot images right.

I think my ability to draw anime hair has since improved:
RPG Mugshots MM1

Additionally, this year and last year seems to be a start (or rather a re-start, more on that later) for our own universe to take some long-awaited steps into the robotics field. And the first steps into anti-robot bigotry? Well, one could defend that these aren't sentient.

First we have Asimo, the eleventh design in a line going back to 1986. I won't say much, since I'm sure everyone out there interested in robotics has heard of him already. He's the little guy that looks like an astronaut and plays the violin, btw.

The next is a fashion model 'bot from Japan, excluded from the catwalk with the rest of the models due to safety concerns and because she was 'too short'. She actually looks an awful lot like a Robot Master/Reploid, though lacking in the Clunky Boots Department. She also, unfortunately, waddles around with her knees slightly bent all the time to walk. They haven't quite got balance down yet. Still, that's better walking than most infants. ;) XD
Article 1, Article 2

I wonder if more sensors and an AI subprogram that would 'learn' how to balance would let a 'bot go from that odd waddle to more normal walking? Human babies have to learn to walk, after all. And once the actual data/program was developed, it could be copied/used for other bots with the same design. Or even with similar designs, and the balance program would only have to relearn so much to adjust.

And here's the one that skirts closest to bigotry: A robot lab assistant (not Rock, or even Blues - you couldn't put a yellow scarf on a van-sized box with arms, sadly) that is intelligent enough to propose and start experiments on its own without supervision has managed to discover some things about yeasts that have eluded human scientists for decades. The humans around verified the work, and one of them tried to at least get the 'bot put on the resulting paper as co-author, but it wasn't allowed.
Here's that Article

And AIBO is a pretty popular pet these days, if you can afford one.

But, as we head off into this new burst of robot science, I can't help pausing to remember the ones that have gone before. I remember a huge burst of interest and creativity in robots when I was a kid, which only fed my interest in the subject. Alas, I was never able to afford any of the ones I wanted to bring home (when more normal children wanted to bring home ponies and puppies).

So, let's take a moment to remember B.O.B., Topo, Fred, and Andy/Androman; Maxx Steele; Elami and Elami Jr.; GEMINI (Not the Wilybot, the one by ARCTEC); RoboScout; the RHINO bots; J.A.K.E.; the Omnibots; Q.T.; Andrea, Adam, and other designs of the Android Amusment Corp.; Hubot; the HERO series; Denby; RB5X; The Comro bots, including BubbleBot, Bumpy, Wires, and Tin Man; Newton; and, of course, all those drones on assembly lines around the world. And the 'bots used by the space program, including those currently still trundling around the Martian landscape, and those who never quite made it.

I still think the Topo series is awfully cute, but so is Newton. And RoboScout looks like a proto-Toadman. XD And then there's J.A.K.E., who could probably relate to Junkman. XD

And, if you haven't a clue who/what I'm talking about? Drop by one of these two sites.

And, on one last change of topic, I'm glad most of the chemical water clean up as far as the RP version of Mars is almost done. Because then I'll be able to quit skirting around conflicting data every time the scientists change their minds on things. What is this little snit about? The perchlorates found in the Martian soil. First, they say it's dangerous. Then they say it's at levels where it would be ok and possibly even good for plants. And then there's this from another source: Perchlorate Contamination In Infant Formula. Hmm. Doesn't sound safe to me. O.o Although, since it's found in rocket fuel, it does bring up a question of possible sample contamination in the Mars case.

And when I was a kid, I thought for certain there'd be manned missions to Mars and a permanent moon base by the time I was thirty. Meh.

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