The Convergent Science Network – blogs

If I may indulge in a brief bit of cross-blogging publicity: I have started writing on robots and the like on the Convergent Science Network blog, and as I suspect that this blog’s readership and that one share at least some common interests, I will announce those blog posts here, too.

The Convergent Science Network for Biomimetics and Neurotechnology is an international partnership, run from Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Spain and including partners in Sheffield, Padova, Zürich, Okinawa and Baltimore. CSN seeks to ‘conquer the challenges of the real world into new technologies‘.

It is a tremendous project, offering a fantastic resources. In addition to the blog, their website offers podcasts, lectures and publications.

To read my first post — 2015: The Year of Personal Robots? — click here.


Pictures from Launch of Sheffield Robotics

For a cold January day, here are some pictures from our launch of Sheffield Robotics way back in December.

Happy New Year!

and it looks like it will be a terrific 2015 for science-fiction and robot fans. In the last post before Christmas we looked at the trailer for Terminator: Genisys [sic], but there is so much to look forward to in the near future. Over the next few days I’ll try to do the studios’ work for them and make sure you see some of the trailers for these forthcoming robot-inspired films. Call it public service.

Everyone is really excited about Ex_Machina, released 21 January. It’s written and directed by Alex Garland, who wrote 28 Days Later and Sunshine (both directed by Danny Boyle), so all signs are promising for an intelligent, engaging film… even if the trailer makes it look rather like we’re firmly in Frankenstein-complex territory: hubristic, eccentric billionaire/scientist creates AI-robot in his lab, though of course he is unable to control his creation and things go, inevitably, wrong. We have the usual modern twists on the tale, too, that we’ve grown used to; the scientists are a little mad, but not as completely unhinged as their corporate, or military, or corporate-military, controllers. (Cf. RobocopTerminator, etc., etc.)

In fact, it looks a lot like the much-less hyped 2014 film The Machine, also a British production, complete with a young, pretty actress in the role of the killer machine; the dangerous fem-bot is now apparently a great, noble tradition, dating back to Maria of Metropolis, and warrants a more thorough consideration (which I’ll get to when I stop pretending to be a film promoter).

Anyway, here’s the trailer. Enjoy!

And here’s the website: