Monday, April 26, 2010

Dennis Hong: My seven species of robot

By David S.

A long time ago when I was a little boy I developed a mad obsession with technology and ever since then anything that has anything to do with technology has drawn my interest.

Most people today don't think of robots as something that could ever have any real life application other then standing on the moon or Mars, driving around and taking samples of rock. In this Amazing TED Talk, Dennis Hong introduces the audience to seven different types of robots that he and his company have been building. An example of one of these robots is called STriDER or Self-excited Tripodal Dynamic Experimental Robot. This robot is based on nature, but when i saw it for the first time I laughed and thought "how could this be based on nature". To my surprise it was. The reason I thought it couldn't be based on nature was because it has 3 legs, and looks like a giant 3-legged spider. It seems that the robot is indeed based on a concept from nature; it is based on the walking motion that most humans use to walk forward or backward. There are many other easier to understand robots, like the amoeba robot that uses whole skin locomotion to move around which means that it makes its skin move to make it move. This robot looks like a freezie being squished out of its plastic. Dennis Hong chooses to end his Talk by referring to another Talk that said that education kills creativity. Dennis Hong doesn't believe that this is true. He believes that education is what takes you from being a hobbyist, to someone who really knows what they are doing, like him.

In conclusion, I believe that his is a very amazing, ingenious and informative Talk. I feel this way because it increased my knowledge of some of the amazing things that scientists are doing with robots and how robots are advancing. I learned a lot from this video even with a decent understanding or robots based on the course I took at the University of Alberta about robots and basic coding. This Talk really showed how robots are advancing. This video made me think about what robots might be able to do someday.

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