Stephen’s Law of Robotics

Posted April 21st, 2008 by Stephen Davis
Categories: Almost there

In the previous article the notion that over a period of time the number of capabilities a robot possesses will double was introduced. While some of these capabilities will likely come from the artificial intelligence field, just as many will come from plain old engineering. The growth of capabilities will come about due to problems to be solved, and new tasks to be performed. There are many motivations driving the growth of capabilities in robotics.

Power of incentive

Moore’s Law of Robotics

Posted April 19th, 2008 by Stephen Davis
Categories: Almost there

I have no idea whether truly intelligence robots will ever exist, but I can definitely imagine that their actions will start to seem intelligent within the next twenty years. Being intelligent and seeming intelligent are close enough, that I am not sure the difference matters. Being intelligent implies having the ability to create new solutions and ideas for situations never previously encountered. Seeming intelligent is to apply existing solutions and ideas to new situations. Current robots and machines are far from seeming intelligent and even farther from being intelligent. However, as their accumulated set of capabilities increases, this will change. Over the next couple of articles, a sketch of the idea that as the number of capabilities a robot possesses increases, the overall flexibility of its actions will increase as well. Flexibility of action is the ability to respond appropriately to situations which have never been encountered before. As an individual robot’s capabilities reach into the millions, and then billions, there will be fewer and fewer situations where it will be unable to complete its task. In such an environment, robots will be very hard to distinguish from seeming intelligent to actually being intelligent. The meaning of capabilities will be rather broad, but the notion should be clear by the time we finish.

GPS enabled cell phones

Posted April 6th, 2008 by Stephen Davis
Categories: Almost there

More and more cell phones are shipped with built-in GPS receivers. The position coordinates used by applications running on your cell phone allow for sharing your location with a community. Various projects have gathered this data to monitor health, traffic, and social interactions. The infrastructure for standardizing the exchange of location for applications is just beginning to form. Some of these services are even becoming available for phones which do not have GPS to accurately capture position. Instead, triangulation based on cell phone towers in range is used. Since the phone is tied to a communications network, sending information off to be aggregated with others, makes for many potential applications. Just a few are listed here.

Improved Cellphone Integration

Posted March 30th, 2008 by Stephen Davis
Categories: Almost there

905i CellphoneWith the release of the 905i series of cellphones in Japan, the degree and quality of integration continues to improve.  3G network, GPS, high-definition TV, 5-mega-pixel camera, fast internet access, and even English-Japanese translation are included.  Of all the integration factors we have talked about, only Bluetooth and WiFi are missing.

Quick to adopt

Travel yet to be

Posted March 22nd, 2008 by Stephen Davis
Categories: Why can't I

Base of 3333 steps in Misato, JapanPlanning a trip to an unknown location requires a lot of work. While sites often exist with helpful information, there is no single source which has everything. This is one area where community sites such as WikiTravel can help to fill in the gaps For now outside of major cities, the details are often insufficient. If such sites were as popular as Facebook, then more information than you could possibly want would be available on just about everywhere and in just about any language of interest. However, this level of information overload is far away.

Travel Abroad

Posted March 13th, 2008 by Stephen Davis
Categories: If only

Now that you know where to go, its time to prepare for the trip. What will the temperature be like? What vaccinations are recommended? Am I going during any national holidays? What type of money will I need? Do they drive on the left or right? Do I need to worry about any of their unique laws? When going abroad there are so many issues to deal with, it helps to prepare.

Vaccinations

Where was that picture taken?

Posted March 10th, 2008 by Stephen Davis
Categories: If only

Anytime you travel, pictures accumulate quickly. A few weeks after they are taken, you still have a good idea where each one came from. However, after a few months some of the place names start to fade, and the approximate location gets a bit hazy too. However, if you bring your GPS along, then determining where those pictures were taken becomes easy.

Geocoding the pictures

Geocoding is storing location coordinates with the picture.

Planning a Vacation

Posted March 8th, 2008 by Stephen Davis
Categories: Almost there

GPS ReceiversTechnology related to the Global Positioning System (GPS) has advanced significantly since the system was opened for civilian use in 1983. In the early 90′s my Garmin 45 GPS receiver took five minutes or more to lock onto enough satellites to get a position fix. If left unused for a few weeks it could take an hour to update its database and provide location information. Essentially it was good for primitive navigation over open terrain, such as out at sea. Today I have a Garmin Vista HCx which locks on in seconds and provides color mapping and car like navigation capabilities. With the ability to find location quickly, it is so much more practical to use. Today GPS can be found not just in specialized receivers, but on laptops, in cars, and even in cell phones. In this article, I will talk about using a GPS receiver as an aid in travel. In a later article, we will discuss areas where the overall experience needs improvement.

Recap and moving forward

Posted March 1st, 2008 by Stephen Davis
Categories: Almost there

Surveillance Camera‘Tech Yet To Be’ has been going for over a month now. Over this time we have discussed:

Driving Force of the Singularity

Posted February 25th, 2008 by Stephen Davis
Categories: Almost there

TRS80 Model 1 ComputerTechnical advances are coming at a seemingly unstoppable pace. Between eighteen months to three years, technologies experience a doubling in performance or capacity, and still manage to get cheaper. But as new as new gadgets come out to satisfy our current problems or desires, we find ourselves with even more problems to be solved and grander dreams.