Filed under robots

Ex Machina

Decades ago there was a sort of truism: I think that I will never view a French film without Depardieu. Is it now possible to make an American  film that does not include Oscar Isaac? Here he plays Nathan, the inventor of the world’s biggest search engine, who lives in luxurious isolation, and invites a … Continue reading

An Unmissable Show

This is the only account I’ve found for this so doubt it was much of a crowd puller. It is perhaps of more interest for the fact that it existed at all. This is from the Bath Journal of 1773: This is to acquaint the curious, that there is to be seen at the Wheatsheaf, … Continue reading

Early Technology

The industrial revolution did not come out of nowhere. It came from a lot of dreaming, talking and tinkering, and most of all, sharing of ideas. It is surprising how old much of our so –called new technology is. This is from Lisa Nocks book, The Robot The Life Story of a Technology: I am … Continue reading

A Hand’s Plea

Jaquet-Droz is generally credited as having created the first writing automaton, but two decades earlier, Friedrich von Knaus made several machines in which a hand dipped into ink and wrote. In 1760 the automata filled the Emperor and his court in Vienna with awe when it wrote: “Dear Sir, Do me the honour of listening … Continue reading

Voyager has Left the Solar System

Voyager has Left the Solar System

Way back on 20 August 1977 Voyager One was launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida, two weeks after its sister Voyager Two. It  is now, unlike many of us alive then,  still going strong. What is really astounding is that its processing power is a fraction of that in a smart phone. It is travelling at … Continue reading

Missing: Dead Animals

Missing: Dead Animals

I just got a brilliant book from my favourite shop – The Last Bookshop on Park Street. It’s called ” Bats sing, Mice Giggle, The Surprising Science of Animals’ Inner Lives” by Karen Shanor and Jagmeet Kanwal.  I will not go into asking why so many good US academics have unusual nanes, but this book … Continue reading

Robot Myths and Origins

Robot Myths and Origins

We think of robots as being a very modern, even futuristic invention, but the ideas behind them date back thousands of years. . The word ‘Robot’ was coined by Karel Capek in his 1920 play ‘Rossum’s Universal Robots’ in which automata were built to replace humans in boring or dangerous work. The word is derived … Continue reading