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What I want from the future

It's not a flying car. Frankly, I consider painting white stripes on asphalt a totally inadequate method of keeping regular cars from running into each other. I cannot imagine the carnage that would be bound to ensure if we all had flying vehicles. For one thing, there's no way to paint lane markers in the sky.

But I do have some hope from technology. I already read digital books and hold LJ, Twitter, and Facebook "conversations" with people on other continents. I don't have an actual picture phone but I do Skype with a webcam, and talk to my daughter face-to-face (in one sense) while she is a thousand miles away. I carry a phone in my purse that, while it's not a Star Trek communicator, does allow me to communicate with pretty much anyone on the planet with a similar device or a landline.

In medicine, doctors can take images of people's internal organs without opening them up. They can perform surgery with the aid of robotic devices. They can test people's genes and identify a hot of problematic traits.

So, in some sense, the promise of science fiction has been fulfilled. When it comes to communicating and sharing information, we're doing great. But there's an area that needs work. can you guess what it is?

Housework! Why is it that we're still stuck cleaning the old fashioned way? Yes, I know there's an automated vacuum cleaner but it's not going to move the furniture and really get every place a human would. Where's my robot housemaid? I don't mean a single use robotic device that does one thing like vacuum; I want a robot that does it all!

A company called Aldebaran Robotics has built programmable Nao robots, and they're pretty cool but not big enough to be really useful. To heck with dancing; I want to put them to work. And I don't mean just bringing me drinks or light dusting. I want them to scrub the bathroom, sweep and mop the floor, and otherwise do the dirty work.

You can keep the flying car, but I can't wait for my robot housemaid.

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( 18 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 2nd, 2010 08:36 pm (UTC)
Here, here!
Jul. 3rd, 2010 12:05 am (UTC)
Thank you!
Jul. 2nd, 2010 09:36 pm (UTC)
When it comes to communicating and sharing information, we're doing great.

Nah, we're actually doing far better. Even SF written fifteen years ago failed to predict the mobile phone, let alone the sweet, sweet one that I own and love ;p
Jul. 3rd, 2010 12:04 am (UTC)
Cool! What kind of phone do you have?
Jul. 3rd, 2010 08:10 am (UTC)
I have a nexus one. A wonderful piece okit...
Jul. 3rd, 2010 01:52 pm (UTC)
>piece okit...

Jul. 3rd, 2010 05:26 pm (UTC)
Should be "piece of kit" -- I'm using a kind of predictive typing... on my phone :-o
Jul. 3rd, 2010 05:46 pm (UTC)
Jul. 3rd, 2010 12:11 am (UTC)
Totally agree! :)
Jul. 3rd, 2010 12:12 am (UTC)
Somehow it seems to be women who agree with me. What a surprise! -)
Jul. 3rd, 2010 12:22 am (UTC)
I keep meaning to get one of those little robot vacuums, but I have a feeling my dogs would hate it and would attack it brutally:-). I'd like fancier robots, too. I sometimes feel like Calvin in Calvin and Hobbes: "THIS is the future? Where are the robots? Where are the flying cars?" But then I look at my iPod and my Kindle and my cell phone, and I think, yeah, the future IS pretty cool.

Still, it could definitely be cooler!
Jul. 3rd, 2010 12:23 am (UTC)
See, all those things are great, but I would trade even my beloved Kindle for a robot maid that kept my house clean without me lifting a finger. Of course, I could make it read to me, too!
Jul. 3rd, 2010 12:59 am (UTC)
I would love for your wish to come true. We would be like the Jetson's . . . without the flying cars.
Jul. 3rd, 2010 01:02 am (UTC)
Well, now, I'll take Rosie the Robot, but I wouldn't want to live in an apartment building on top of really tall pole without a flying car. -)
Jul. 3rd, 2010 02:01 am (UTC)
You know what I want? I want a robotic laundress! Seriously, how hard is that to figure out?
Jul. 3rd, 2010 02:07 am (UTC)
True! I hope Maytag is working on it!
Jul. 3rd, 2010 04:30 pm (UTC)
Maybe they could combine the two :)
Jul. 3rd, 2010 04:53 pm (UTC)
Oooh, a robot housemaid you can fly in! Cool!
( 18 comments — Leave a comment )

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