The Newark Steam Man, Eric the mechanical man, Cygan the gigantic robot, WABOT-1 the intelligent anthrobot, REEM the humanoid service robot, ASIMO the little humanoid robot and Robonaut 2 the astronaut are only a few unique creations in the history of robotics. However, they outline the dramatic evolution that has occurred in robots over the past 150 years, and to an extent, their miniature robot counterparts in the toy kingdom also reflect this incredible diversity.
Science fiction tales of robotic entities, such as sophisticated intelligent androids and gynoids, global communication networks controlled entirely by artificial intelligences, and even Space Age cartoons such as The Jetsons provide supporting insights into this evolutionary transition throughout the book.
The 21st century is already experiencing innovative robotic advancements in development of artificially intelligent synthetic lifeforms and transforming many sectors of our society, particularly in the manufacturing, healthcare and hospitality industries as well as the worldwide Internet. Are we prepared for a society of emerging ‘intelligent’ sentient androids throughout almost every aspect of our lives and if so, what will the future of humankind ultimately become with such an awakening?
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