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Robot Competitions

Robot Competitions - Christopher Forest This was a good overview of robotics competitions, with a fine selection of stock photos. Beyond its wide coverage, the best thing is that Forest's book is full of photos, which take the idea of robots out of the hypothetical and into a clearly present kind of reality. And yet...

I still don't buy that simple remote control machines should count as robots, and that's what more than half of this book is about, so the 'presentness' of robots is misleading in a way. I mean, yes, the wireless remote control is a great invention, but I think there's some kind of presumption that a robot is gathering information through sensors. As one scientist put it, "non-autonomous robots have to spend a lot of time and energy just asking scientists what to do and waiting for the answer." An R/C robot doesn't even gather data and then 'ask questions', it has to rely on a person for its every decision and move.