Future Robot Identity Crisis sounds like a listing for the [easyazon-link asin=”0890420254″ locale=”us”] DSM [/easyazon-link] (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) we might see included in the year 2050. Transformers and shape shifting machines are certain to be a part of our future. Researchers at MIT have created tiny robots inspired by what they call “The Milli-Motein” : A Self-Folding Chain of Programmable Matter with a One Centimeter Module Pitch.
Modeled after protein structures, these little shape shifting robots can change into multiple shape in seconds. You can see the future potential although these are certainly crude and primary at this stage.
Check out this video from MIT explaining the process:
Future Implications: The Future Robot Identity Crisis:
Sounds very promising and yet I can’t help but wonder what philosophical implications we are setting up for our future[easyazon-link asin=”0446678759″ locale=”us”] Artificial Intelligent [/easyazon-link] robotic friends. Was this the future that Ray Kurtzweil was imagining? Did he see a future filled with bikes that turned into toasters and laptops that can transform into a skateboard? Will we even need toasters in the future? Who knows… anyway, my point is we need to face the self fulfilling fact that TRANSFORMERS are coming and they will arrive with a completely new set of issues we can hardly imagine.
What do we do with an intelligent shape shifting robot with a nasty case of Robot Identity Crisis? I can just imagine it now. A co-dependent shape shifting[easyazon-link asin=”B009M2X8XS” locale=”us”] Laptop [/easyazon-link] constantly asking me…”Gray…who am I?” However, I can also imagine a fantastic future filled with shape shifting robots that could function as anything you need, one multi purpose robot that does anything you desire. It could go from sexbot to submarine to bandsaw in one instant. Just dont upset it or you might get the bandsaw when you are expecting sexbot. You can see that this could get messy.
Socially these transformers will need to work out peer relationship issues as well. We don’t want our robots competing for attention while performing a function for us. Nor do we want an over achieving shifter in the [easyazon-link asin=”1857885341″ locale=”us”] Future [/easyazon-link] to get out of control and take on a form no one wants, like a giant man eating gun swinging spiderbot. Yikes.