Re: Job Stability, long haul ahead

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From: Dave Long (
Date: Tue Apr 04 2000 - 11:53:34 PDT

> > You've heard about the driverless car driving across U.S, have you? Or
> > the robot playing pingpong?

Do you have any more details? I'll try to track down the pingpong
book; to what extent was the car unsupported? Getting back to the
point which I was hoping to make, I don't find a pingpong playing
robot to be that impressive; if it could retrieve mishit balls after
they've rolled under the couch, then I'd have to take notice.
Artificial Intelligence seems easier than Artificial Stupidity.

As an exercise in robotics, how about a fetch-playing robot? Now,
tracking a stick/ball in parabolic flight isn't too difficult, but
the degree of anticipation about the throw, or the ability afterwards
to negotiate the details of the returning the object (do you want
this? can I just drop it here? or should I bring it closer?) seem
like they'd take a bit of work.

> Or the Hummer, which automatically fixes its own flats...

According to the dealership, this isn't true. One can change tire
pressure from the cabin, and the tires are run-flat, so one can
drive after complete loss of pressure, but it won't repair itself.
(It will monitor itself: since there aren't any blowouts, it has to
post a cabin warning that tire pressure is unusually low. Note that
it still needs wetware to actually do something about that event.)

The run-flat certainly sounds like a nice property; such tires are
available for other vehicles as well.


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