Social Networking vs. Robotics

March 20, 2008

Hopefully you have had the opportunity to see the video floating around the Internet about BigDog.  The robot prototype that Boston Dynamics has put together which is absolutely amazing.   (Follow this link to see a few that have wound up on YouTube).

Boston Dynamics is the same company that built the AIBO series robot dogs distributed by SONY a few years ago (always wanted one of those).  A few of the articles that I read about the prototype was that it was built from a grant from DARPA (the same organization that gave us TCP/IP and eventually the Internet – thanks).

My question is this:

With the ever increasing concerns about the economy, are we better off investing $50 million dollars in Slide so they can build applications for the Facebook (and other) social networking site or, can we continue to revolutionize the robotics industry and build some robots that actually do something.

BigDog is amazing and while I am sure that it did not take the full $10 million DARPA gave Boston Dynamics to build it, I am sure that there is no plant waiting to mass produce them.  And I am sure that even if they do, there may not be a market outside of the government which can sustain the costs of one of these machines – but – we will never get to the Matrix if we don’t start soon.

(um…yeah… a bit overboard – but – still).

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