Wednesday, August 12, 2009


Robotics has evolved so much in the last decade. This link landed up in my in-box courtesy someone who knows I am a certified robot-nut.

Check out these robo pics in particular:

#23: What a terrific idea! No more anorexic, unrealistic "models"... these robots are way better!

#25: Gotta admit, creeps me out. Insect-robot hybrids with the head of an insect and body of a robot?!

#28: Honda and Asimo have done it again, w00t! Thought controlled robots? How incredibly awesome is that!

#33: Stunned to see this one! Looks like Eddie is a descendant of Kismet, one of my favorite robots sitting right here in my backyard at MIT. Kismet was Dr. Cynthia Breazeal's PhD thesis at the Media lab.

Kismet's ancestors are showcased @ the MIT museum. Very exciting to see generations of robots evolve.

It would be a dream come true to commercialize one of these robots, combining my twin passions of robots and entrepreneurship.


Anonymous said...

Kismet is rubbish. It is essentially a database lookup with some LEDs lighting up for various situations. That is not AI. When Marvin Minsky criticized it a few years ago, Breazeal went on a firefighting mode claiming that Minsky had misunderstood it and it was not really about emotions.

That claim is nonsense. The original webpage claimed it was about machines having emotions. This was when Brezeal was not yet a faculty member and was working for Rodney Brooks.

Essentially, all of MIT's AI research today is rubbish. Pattie Maes leads in this drivel in a field called Human Computer Interaction. What she does is shameful because this field is nothing more than dealing with user interface and should be done in the industry. Notwithstanding products like gesture recognition, it is a matter of great shame that MIT grants PhDs in the field of user interface.

From soldering, running motors and lighting up LEDs, MIT has now made the giant leap into programming user interface!

I don't mean to pour scorn on MIT, but I want to provoke a discussion and hopefully spur the researchers on to getting on the right track. I would request you to circulate this comment among faculty members and students at MIT and would love to check out their reactions.

Shuba Swaminathan said...


If your goal is to sincerely "provoke a discussion and spur researches on to getting on the right track", I suggest you identify yourself first without cloaking yourself in anonymity. This smacks of hit-and-run. Leaving anonymous comments trashing other people's research is hardly the way to promote any rational discussion.