The Future Of Robotics In The Next 10 Years

The Future Of Robotics In The Next 10 Years

In the coming decade, robots will become just as common as cell phones.
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The robotics we’ve all seen in the movies and cartoons of the 1960s and 1970s will become the reality of the 2020s. A profound level of investment in robotics is happening right now that is facilitating advances in big data, network technologies, and artificial intelligence. In the coming decade, there will be substantial breakthroughs in robotics that will rapidly improve human well-being and literally change the human experience. Ultimately, some countries will adopt the new robotic reality while others will flounder far behind unless cultural attitudes change.

Japan, China, the United States, South Korea, and Germany are five counties that have already established themselves as leading robot societies, because their public and private sectors have spent loads of money in funding tech companies that will bring us our robotic future. For instance, Google bought Boston Dynamics, a leading robotics design company with Pentagon contracts, for an undisclosed amount back in 2013. Google also bought DeepMind, and artificial intelligence company that was started by Demis Hassabiss, who was known as the 2nd highest-ranked chess player in the world at the age of 14. Even the Obama Administration has gotten in on the action by launching the National Robotics Initiative in 2011 to stimulate development of robots for industrial automation, elder assistance, and of course -- military applications. Germany and France have initiated similar programs and invested $126.9 million big ones thus far for its robotic-centric future. Although these capitalist economies see big profits in their balance sheets because they expect the market for consumer robots to make $390 billion by 2017 and industrial robots to reach $40 billion in 2020, enthusiasts like myself believe robotics will do more than strengthen corporate balance sheets.

Nanobots, still in their developmental infancy, promise a future in which autonomous machines far smaller than a grain of sand can diagnose and treat human diseases at the cellular level. A microscopic swarm of robots would be injected into the bloodstream that are programmed to eradicate cancer cells or repair organic tissue. Although this sounds like stuff from science fiction, it’s closer to reality that you might think. Similarly, labor shortages will hit service-industry jobs like eldercare with ferocity and will be exacerbated because caretakers have a high job turnover rate due to low pay and high rates of work-related injury from lifting patients. Thus, robotics present a pragmatic solution that promises to fill the need that the eldercare industry will face in the coming decade. Toyota has built a nursing aide named Robina (modeled after the robot housekeeper in "The Jetsons") that can communicate using words and gestures and whose purpose is to care for Japan’s geriatric population. Robina has a brother, Humanoid, that can do the dishes, take care of your parents when they’re sick, and even provide impromptu entertainment by playing the trumpet or violin. And of course, we are all familiar with Honda’s ASIMO, a fully functional humanoid that looks like a four-foot-tall astronaut stuck on Earth and is sophisticated enough to interpret human emotions, movements, and conversations. ASIMO can even shake hands, follow voice commands, and answer questions correctly with a nod or by voice. For elderly patients, ASIMO and future robotics like it can fulfill a range of tasks, from helping a patient get out of bed to holding a conversation.

There are a couple of reasons that robotics will become ubiquitous and central to our lives in the coming decade: the advancement of what developers call belief space and the development of cloud robotics. First of all, Belief Space refers to a mathematical framework that allows us to model a given environment statistically and develop probabilistic outcomes. Essentially, it allows a robot to interact with its surroundings intelligently because it would know the outcomes of its actions and be fully situationally aware (for example, a robot walking through a crowd and avoiding dangerous obstacles like potholes or incoming traffic). Until recently, it was difficult to program a robot for all the possible outcomes that it would encounter in the real world because of the sheer amount of computing power it would require. This leads me to the second advancement, cloud robotics¸ which allows a robot to tap into the cloud and access vast troves of data and shared experiences to enhance the understanding of its own belief space. Before, robots were standalone pieces of electronics with capabilities that were limited to the hardware and software inside the unit. But by becoming networked devices, robots can now incorporate the experiences of every other robot of their kind and “learn” at an accelerating rate. It would be fantastic and so cool if we as people could tap into a worldwide neural network and draw from not just our own limited experiences and expertise, but from that of billions of other people as well.

Alas, robots are the sole carriers of this capability, but many speculate that our robotic future may radically change human life even more than simply servicing our human needs. One view is that it is inevitable robots will surpass humanity and become a species of their own; another is that they can’t possibility compete with human ingenuity; and a third option is that human and machine will become a cohesive unit. Within the robotics community, the future of technology is wrapped up in the concept of the singularity, the theoretical point in time when artificial intelligence will match or surpass human intelligence. If this event in time occurs, it’s unclear what the relationship between robots and humans will become; it would either enhance the human experience or unleash a dystopian future where people become inferior and subservient to machines. Yay.

In the end, the dissemination of robotics will in part depend on a country’s culture, meaning how readily people will accept robots in their lives. For whatever reason, the western world has a deeply rooted fear of robotics. The notion of humanity creating things they cannot control is substantial in western literature and pop culture. Prometheus was condemned to an eternity of punishment for giving fire to humans. Mary Shelley’s "Frankenstein" focuses around a physician whose grotesque creation wreaks havoc and ultimately leads to its creator’s death. "The Terminator" franchise centers around a dystopian future where robots have exterminated most of humanity and its few survivors struggle to survive and alter the course of their fate. These are just a few of the numerous examples where western culture has demonstrated how afraid they are of the impending robotic future. Even though many of North America’s private companies are investing heavily in robotics, the attitude of western consumers means that capitalists will look eastward to sell their robotic-centered products.

Eastern cultures world have shown a more positive stance concerning robots. The ancient Shinto religion, practiced by 80 percent of Japanese people, includes belief in animism, which holds that both objects and human beings have spirits. As a result, Japanese culture tends to be more accepting of robot companions than is western culture, which views robots as soulless machines. In a culture where the inanimate can be considered to be just as alive as the animate, robots can be seen as members of society rather than as mere tools or as threats. The cultural dynamic in Japan is representative of the culture through much of East Asia, enabling the Asian robotics industry to speed ahead, unencumbered by cultural baggage. To me, this means that we will get our first glimpse of a world full of robots in East Asia rather than in any western country. Regardless, I’m excited about our robotics future, and I’m confident that cultural attitudes in the west will slowly change to catch up with eastern societies.

Cover Image Credit: Telegraph

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35 Major Life Facts According To Nick Miller

"All booze is good booze, unless it's weak booze."
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Fact: If you watch "New Girl," you love Nick Miller.

You can't help it. He's an adorable, lovable mess of a man and you look forward to seeing him and his shenanigans each week. While living the infamous and incomparable life of Nick Miller, and obviously Julius Pepperwood— he has learned many valuable laws of the land. And, although Nick refuses to learn anything from anyone besides his mysterious, old Asian friend Tran, he does have a few lessons he'd like to teach us.

Here are 35 facts of life according to 'Nick Milla Nick Milla':

1. Drinking keeps you healthy.

"I'm not gonna get sick. No germ can live in a body that is 65% beer."

2. Dinosaurs never existed.

"I don't believe dinosaurs existed. I've seen the science. I don't believe it."


3. A paper bag is a bank.

"A bank is just a paper bag but with fancier walls."


4. Having sex is similar to delivering mail.

"I'm like a mailman, except instead of mail it's hot sex that I deliver."

5. Moonwalking is a foolproof way to get out of any awkward situation.

Jess (about Nick): "Now he won't even talk to me. I saw him this morning and he just panic moonwalked away from me. He does that sometimes."

6. Using a movie reference is also a great way.

Cece: "Come on, get up!"

Nick: "No, I don't dance. I'm from that town in "Footloose."

7. There's no reason to wash towels.

Nick: "I don’t wash the towel. The towel washes me. Who washes a towel?"

Schmidt: "You never wash your towel?"

Nick: "What am I gonna do? Wash the shower next? Wash a bar of soap?"

8. Exes are meant to be avoided at all costs (especially if/unless they're Caroline)

"I don't deal with exes, they're part of the past. You burn them swiftly and you give their ashes to Poseidon."

9. IKEA furniture is not as intimidating as it looks.

"I'm building you the dresser. I love this stuff. It's like high-stakes LEGOs."

10. You don't need forks if you have hands.

Jess: "That's gross. Get a fork, man."

Nick: "I got two perfectly good forks at the end of my arms!"

11. Sex has a very specific definition.


"It's not sex until you put the straw in the coconut."

12. Doors are frustrating.

"I will push if I want to push! Come on! I hate doors!"

13. All booze is good booze.

"Can I get an alcohol?"

14. ...unless it's weak booze.

"Schmidt, that is melon flavored liquor! That is 4-proof! That is safe to drink while you're pregnant!"

15. Writers are like pregnant women.

Jess: "You know what that sound is? It's the sound of an empty uterus."

Nick: "I can top that easily. I'm having a hard time with my zombie novel."

Jess: "Are you really comparing a zombie novel to my ability to create life?"

Nick: "I'm a writer, Jess. We create life."

16. All bets must be honored.

"There is something serious I have to tell you about the future. The name of my first-born child needs to be Reginald VelJohnson. I lost a bet to Schmidt."

17. Adele's voice is like a combination of Fergie and Jesus.

"Adele is amazing."

18. Beyoncé is extremely trustworthy.

"I'd trust Beyoncé with my life. We be all night."

19. Fish, on the other hand, are not.


“Absolutely not. You know I don’t trust fish! They breathe water. That's crazy!"

20. Bar mitzvahs are terrifying.

Schmidt: "It's a bar mitzvah!"

Nick: "I am NOT watching a kid get circumcised!"

21. ...so are blueberries.

Jess: "So far, Nick Miller's list of fears is sharks, tap water, real relationships..."

Nick: "And blueberries."

22. Take your time with difficult decisions. Don't be rash.


Jess: "You care about your burritos more than my children, Nick?"

Nick: "You're putting me in a tough spot!"

23. Getting into shape is not easy.

"I mean, I’m not doing squats or anything. I’m trying to eat less donuts."

24. We aren't meant to talk about our feelings.

"If we needed to talk about feelings, they would be called talkings."


25. We're all a little bit too hard on ourselves.

"The enemy is the inner me."

26. Freezing your underwear is a good way to cool off.


"Trust me, I'm wearing frozen underpants right now and I feel amazing. I'm gonna grab some old underpants and put a pair into the freezer for each of you."

27. Public nudity is normal.

"Everbody has been flashed countless times."

28. Alcohol is a cure-all.


"You treat an outside wound with rubbing alcohol. You treat an inside wound with drinking alcohol."

29. Horses are aliens.

"I believe horses are from outer-space."


30. Turtles should actually be called 'shell-beavers.'

Jess: "He calls turtles 'shell-beavers."

Nick: "Well, that's what they should be called."

31. Trench coats are hot.


"This coat has clean lines and pockets that don't quit, and it has room for your hips. And, when I wear it, I feel hot to trot!"


32. Sparkles are too.

"Now, my final bit of advice, and don't get sensitive on this, but you've got to change that top it's terrible and you've got to throw sparkles on. Sparkles are in. SPARKLES ARE IN."

33. Introspection can lead to a deeper knowing of oneself.

"I'm not convinced I know how to read. I've just memorized a lot of words."


34. It's important to live in the moment.

"I know this isn't gonna end well but the middle part is gonna be awesome."


35. Drinking makes you cooler.

Jess: "Drinking to be cool, Nick? That's not a real thing."

Nick: "That's the only thing in the world I know to be true."

Cover Image Credit: Hollywood Reporter

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7 New Year’s Resolutions Every College Student Should Actually Follow

It's hard to follow through with New Year's Resolutions, but here are five ways to greatly improve your 2019.

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Winter term at college is by far one of the toughest because of how cold and dark it gets so early in the day. Here are five New Year's Resolutions everyone should follow to get through these next couple of months and into the entire year. With these five resolutions your 2019 is sure to be a little easier.

  1.     Stop skipping classes

Hey Arnold Free At Last Gif

I know syllabus week is the time when everyone is getting back from break and wants to party and have fun, but seriously don't skip the first week of classes. This is the week were you get all the important info for the entire term, also you shouldn't be skipping classes at all seeing that you pay for them.

  2.     Find a workout class you actually enjoy

Monsters Inc Exercise

One of the most popular New Year's resolutions for people is to work out more, but that's really hard to follow if you dread working out. Find a workout class, routine, or activity that you actually enjoy and it won't even feel like you're working out, you'll actually be having fun.

 3.     Get a sleep schedule and try to follow it

Christmas movie bedtime

In college especially sleep is essential because it helps you feel ready to function during the day. I know if I have a good night of sleep I feel completely more prepared in my classes and in my day and it makes me feel physically and mentally healthier. It is easy to feel down during the rainy months of winter term, but with maybe a little more sleep you might just feel a bit better.

  4.     Get rid of all the extra stuff you actually don’t need

Leather Jacket, Nothing to wear

It is very hard to get rid of all the little things that you collect over the time you've been away at college, but it is important to sometimes reevaluate how much stuff you actually need. Do you really need all those notes from a class you took two years ago? Or that shirt you haven't wore since you were in high school? Bring in the New Year with room for new memories.

5. Go to school funded activities around campus

art museum

There are many interesting activities you can do around campus that are completely free. Spending money on things to do really makes no sense when there are so many free and fun things to do on or around campus. You could easily go to one of the campus run movies or tour the art museum, which are both completely free for students.

6. Come on and actually get that homework done

Dog Homework

Homework is obviously not fun and no one wants to do it, but that doesn't mean it isn't important for this year you should really try to focus on school first. Homework surprisingly does hugely impact your grade, and can make your grade quickly go from very good to really bad if not done

  7.     Make sure to live in the moment

Relax, Kardashians

It can be very easy to get trapped in a completely school focused mindset, but remember college is also a time to make memories and have the best time of your life. Set aside time to be social, but after you finish your school work. If you focus and don't procrastinate you will easily have time for both. Most Importantly make sure you are making time and taking care of yourself, don't forget to relax a little!

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