The Robots Are Coming! A Pre-Event Photo and Video Gallery

4/26/12Follow @soonishpodcast

Part of the reason people like to stare at babies is that they’re edge cases. It’s hard to believe something so small could actually be human. Robots are sort of the same way. They’re obviously mechanical, but sometimes they can also seem so…well, human.

That’s certainly the case with several of the robots made by companies taking part in next week’s Xconomy forum, The Future of Robotics in Silicon Valley and Beyond. To see what I mean, just watch the video below, which shows a “compliant” robot hand manufactured by Meka Robotics in San Francisco. Even without the perky music, it’s easy to anthropomorphize the robot in the video and imagine that it (she? he?) isn’t simply sensing the person’s hand when the two shake hands, but feeling it.

To further whet your appetite for our event—which will take place next Thursday, May 3, at SRI International in Menlo Park, CA—we’ve got a baker’s dozen videos and photos showing robots made by participating companies. A big thank you to Meka Robotics, Willow Garage, SRI, Grabit, Liquid Robotics, and Kiva Systems for supplying the images, and thanks also to Xconomy marketing whiz Thea Bissell for doing the photo research. Enjoy the slide show, and we’ll see you next week. (You can check out the full agenda for the event here.)



Wade Roush is a freelance science and technology journalist and the producer and host of the podcast Soonish. Follow @soonishpodcast

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