New Inventions: A Robot For Christmas

Roomba robotic vacuum. Cats like to ride around on it.
Roomba robotic vacuum. Cats like to ride around on it. | Source

Robots and Reboots

Always looking for something better than Earthlings and animals, mankind often turns to the cosmos and technology for companionship and adventure. We search for a truth that is "out there..." acccording to The X-Files and "in there" according to computer information science. In our quest for extraterrestrial life we go out to the edges of the Universe and into the pinpoint center of cyberspace and find much the same information and contructs. An atom is after all, like a solar system.

Sony ERS7 - Pet Dog Robot

Friends and Helpers

Some of us want to find off-planet humanoid life with whom to be friends. Some of us would succeed better in a non-earth social system, to be sure. Some of us believe that off-planet aliens would be better companions to us than earth people.

After all, Mr Spock from Star Trek did not lie and Data programmed himself to be a perfect companion in one episode. In the 1960s there was a short lived TV series starring Julie Newmar - My Living Doll. Bob Cummings was the male lead and Julie played an android that was just a little jerky in movements, a stage below Data and sever steps above the endearing Robbie the Robot of old films and Tv's Lost in Space.

In Japan, over a decade ago, scientists perfected the human replicant ala Blade Runner. One could not tell it from a human being, except that its brain would not fit into the skull. The brain sat next to it, the size of a 20' x 20' standard height room. That's how much brain we have.

While computerized applications become smaller and smaller each year, this computer-brain in the 21st century is still much larger than a human skull, so people must look else where for electronic companionship while our iPods shrink down to the size of a microdot.

In Japan, over a decade ago, scientists perfected the human replicant akin to those in "Blade Runner." One could not tell it from a human being, except that its brain would not fit into the skull - the brain filled an entire room.

ASIMO

How Much is That Doggie at Radio Shack?

Since we are unable to have electric human companions, such as the electric grandmother in Ray Bradbury's story adapted for The Twilight Zone, " I Sing the Body Electric", we turn to electric pets.

Some folks are afraid of dogs or don't feel that they can take care of a pet, but want to try robot creatures. In Japan, again, there has been a system in place for over a decade by which a lonely person can rent a family for holidays, including grandparents, children, whatever you want.

In America, a new twist is that some businesses have opened that rent pets as well. This is not turning out very well -- Many people are outraged about passing around pets and there is a cure controversy in the practice. A few hotels keep several cats as pets on the premises and allow quests to borrow one for the night if they wish. That works out better.

While a robotic pet may never offer the deep, unique connection that a real animal can have with its human friend, robotic pets may be acceptable for some people. These individuals run the risk of staying at home on the Internet, telecommuting for work, and playing with a robot dog and never leaving the house or communicating with organic creatures. That has worked in science fiction films in which person was stranded on a planet with only holograms for companions, but the real world would work against this.

If the power supply is damaged or removed from one's virtual world, what does one do? Does one have withdrawal, depression, a psychotic break? I don't know. I think about Tom Hanks in the film Castaway, where he befriends a soccer ball he names ";Wilson"; and then loses him at sea and becomes quite distressed. Can people forget how to relate to other organic human beings? They may.

Pets can help make people healthier by decreasing their recovery time from accidents and illnesses, by lowering their blood pressure, by reducing isolation, but stimulating communication, etc. Can a robot dog do that? We don't know yet.

Meanwhile, electronic companions are available. With computers that can learn, there may even be a hope that your Pinocchio can turn into a real live boy, or your Velveteen Rabbit can become a real bunny.

Other Robot Pets

Excellent Robot Asian Fan Dance

More by this Author


Comments 8 comments

Raven King profile image

Raven King 8 years ago from Cabin Fever

Do robots make good pets?


Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 8 years ago from North America Author

That's the question. The marketplace is geared to offer an increasingly large selection of them. Some people will prefer to adopt animals that need homes. Some will opt for robots. Some won't have pets at all.

The solar-paneled variety of robot pets may even save energy. I don't know that I would like a robot pet or not. How about you?


compu-smart profile image

compu-smart 8 years ago from London UK

Very entertaining and interesting hub Patty!! I want two of the as they would definitely make great pets and they can keep each one company seeing as they can interact.


Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 8 years ago from North America Author

Cool Compu-buddy!

As a kid I loved wind up toys ever since I'd seen a metal wind-up chick at Easter. Anything mechanical and wind-up I loved. Then when I had a cat, he loved them too. The favorite was a wind-up sitting plastic mouse that would do back flips! So , pets should have pets, even if they are clockwork micro-pets! :)


compu-smart profile image

compu-smart 8 years ago from London UK

omg! those were the wind up days lol..

i was a kid today with all these cool toys.. i was just talking to a friend whos little boy "3" wants a cat but he has been told hes too young so i will get him to read this page (he has no pc) when he comes round. it would be ideal and a perfect solution.!


Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 8 years ago from North America Author

Cool.

Somehow this made me think of Ren & Stimpy cartoons' fake ad for "Log" based on the Slinky commercial:

Its Lo-og, it's Lo-og; it big it's heavy it's wood. It's Lo-og, it's Lo-og, it's better than bad, it's good.

LOL


compu-smart profile image

compu-smart 8 years ago from London UK

that rings a bell Patty, i think it was the way you sang it! lol, jk.

Oops.@ above..should have started off as "I wish"..i was a kid.

:)


Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 8 years ago from North America Author

Hahaha what fun!

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.


    Click to Rate This Article
    working