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Video Friday: Telepresence Tallness, Twisty Tentacles, and Robot on Robot Violence

Hey, guess what? It's robot season! I know, I know, around here it's always robot season. But this next month is absolutely positively packed with robot news and events, from major (major) new product releases that we can't tell you about yet to big events ranging from RoboBusiness in Pittsburgh to Combots in San Francisco to IROS in Portugal.

Of course, none of that stuff has happened yet, but that's not stopping Video Friday from being full of, you know, videos. We've got space robots, paper robots, some lovely robot films, and even some robotic tentacles. So let's get kraken!

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Extending Legal Protection to Social Robots

This is a guest post. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not represent positions of Automaton, IEEE Spectrum, or the IEEE. 


“Why do you cry, Gloria? Robbie was only a machine, just a nasty old machine. He wasn’t alive at all.”
“He was not no machine!” screamed Gloria fiercely and ungrammatically. “He was a person like you and me and he was my friend.”

– Isaac Asimov (1950)

Most discussions of “robot rights” play out in a seemingly distant, science-fictional future. While skeptics roll their eyes, advocates argue that technology will advance to the point where robots deserve moral consideration because they are “just like us,” sometimes referencing the movie Blade Runner. Blade Runner depicts a world where androids have human-like emotions and develop human-like relationships to the point of being indistinguishable from people. But Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, the novel on which the film is based, contains a small, significant difference in storyline. In the book, the main character falls in love with an android that only pretends to requite his feelings. Even though he is fully aware of this fact, he maintains the one-directional emotional bond. The novel touches on a notably different, yet plausible, reality: humans’ moral consideration of robots may depend more on our own feelings than on any inherent qualities built into robots. 

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Boston Dynamics' Cheetah Robot Now Faster than Fastest Human

Boston Dynamics' Cheetah robot has just set a new record for legged robots by sprinting at 28.3 mph. This, incidentally, is also faster than Olympic (human) champion Usain Bolt, who set the world record for the 100 meter dash with a speed of 27.8 mph back in 2009. Yes, this means that now there is officially no escape from a robot cheetah on a treadmill. You've been warned.

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Study: Intelligent Cars Could Boost Highway Capacity by 273%

You're a terrible driver. Yes, you. Terrible. At least, you're terrible compared to a robot, which is smarter, faster, and more experienced. In fact, if we all just give up driving on highways and let robots take over for us, we could effectively end highway congestion as we know it by boosting the capacity of our existing roads by a staggering 273%.

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Automaton

IEEE Spectrum's award-winning robotics blog, featuring news, articles, and videos on robots, humanoids, automation, artificial intelligence, and more.
Contact us:  e.guizzo@ieee.org

Editor
Erico Guizzo
New York, N.Y.
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Evan Ackerman
Berkeley, Calif.
 
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Jason Falconer
Canada
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Angelica Lim
Tokyo, Japan
 

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