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Marvin Minsky's Telepresence Manifesto

In this essay, originally published in 1980, the legendary pioneer of artificial intelligence calls for a remote-controlled robot economy

18 min read
Mind and Machine: Marvin Minsky holds a 14-jointed, three-elbowed, computer-controlled, hydraulically muscled mechanical arm
Photo: Dan McCoy/Rainbow

Minsky01

Photo: Dan McCoy/Rainbow
Mind and Machine: Marvin Minsky holds a 14-jointed, three-elbowed, computer-controlled, hydraulically muscled mechanical arm that he built at his MIT lab in the 1970s. This photo appeared in the article "Telepresence," republished here, in the June 1980 issue of Omni.

Over 30 years ago, MIT professor and artificial intelligence pioneer Marvin Minsky laid out an ambitious plan calling for the development of advanced teleoperated robotic systems that would usher in a "remote-controlled economy." He coined the term "telepresence" to describe these systems, which in his futuristic vision would transform work, manufacturing, energy production, medicine, and many other facets of modern life. His plan appeared as an essay in the June 1980 issue of the influential—and now defunct—science and science fiction magazine Omni.

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The EV Transition Explained: Charger Infrastructure

How many, where, and who pays?

7 min read
Illuminated electric vehicle charging stations at night in Monterey Park, California.

Electric vehicle charging stations in Monterey Park, California.

FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images

The ability to conveniently charge an EV away from home is a top concern for many EV owners. A 2022 survey of EV owners by Forbes indicates that 62 percent of respondents are so anxious about their EV range that travel plans have been affected. While “range anxiety” may be overblown, the need for an extensive and reliable external charging infrastructure is not.

Infrastructure terminology can itself be confusing. For clarity, bear in mind that a charging station is a specific physical location which has one or more charging posts. A charging post itself may have one or more ports, where each port can charge a single EV. Each post may have multiple types of service connectors to support different EV charging connector standards. And a port may supply varying power levels.

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Video Friday: Humanoid Soccer

Your weekly selection of awesome robot videos

4 min read
Humans and human-size humanoid robots stand together on an indoor soccer field at the beginning of a game

Video Friday is your weekly selection of awesome robotics videos, collected by your friends at IEEE Spectrum robotics. We also post a weekly calendar of upcoming robotics events for the next few months. Please send us your events for inclusion.

CoRL 2022: 14–18 December 2022, AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND
ICRA 2023: 29 May–2 June 2023, LONDON

Enjoy today’s videos!

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Industrial Functional Safety Training from UL Solutions

Build knowledge and skills to better navigate today's functional safety landscape

3 min read

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