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The other day the TV was on in the next room and I heard this ad for a small electronic device which you turn loose in a room and it goes under furniture and "really picks things up." It sounded like a joke, but it wasn't during any comedy show that I could tell. Does anyone know to what I refer and whether it's a joke or (shudder) real?
 
Posts: 7188 | Location: Dayton, Washington, USA | Registered: 03 December 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Are you talking about Roomba? It's a circular, disk-shaped, robotic vacuum....and, yes, it's real. Have no idea how something that small does any real cleaning, though!
 
Posts: 213 | Location: New Berlin, WI, USA | Registered: 21 June 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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It's like those little "bugs" in Minority Report.

I recently read somewhere (don't remember where) that the police have a small robot-type thing that they can now send in to hostage situations. It will go in and wander around and video the insides for them so they can assess the danger before having to head in. Pretty cool application. If they (the hostage takers) shoot the thing, no cops get hurt, and since it's feeding out the video live, they still get information.


[This message has been edited by Mr. Dark (edited 10-16-2004).]
 
Posts: 2769 | Location: McKinney, Texas | Registered: 11 May 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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And can the "Hound" be far behind?
 
Posts: 847 | Location: Laguna Hills, CA USA | Registered: 02 January 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I have a news clipping from about 10 years ago that I read to my classes when I'm starting our sci fi/fantasy unit every year. It's about a remote controlled robot that normally was used to work with explosives that police used this time to disarm a dangerous man. Seems they were called in to this volatile situation where they knew the man was armed and dangerous. They sent the robot in to the house and he tracked the man to a closet. The robot opened the door and pushed aside the clothes, and there was the man crouched down with a shot gun. The man then pushed the clothes back in front of himself, and the robot again pushed them aside and grabbed his gun. The police were controlling all of the robot's moves and were able to watch all of this with some kind of video hook-up. At this point they stormed the house and captured the man, with no police officer harmed. My students always enjoy that article, especially the part where the criminal pushes the clothes back in place. Also, about 20 years ago I was touring the Chrysler plant in Belvidere, Illinois on a field trip. Even back then there were some steps on the assembly line where robotic arms were used (called turkeys for some unknown reason) to do some of the high temperature welding.

[This message has been edited by lmskipper (edited 10-16-2004).]
 
Posts: 774 | Location: Westmont, Illinois 60559 | Registered: 04 January 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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You must be a great teacher! You always have something cool going on!

[This message has been edited by Mr. Dark (edited 10-16-2004).]
 
Posts: 2769 | Location: McKinney, Texas | Registered: 11 May 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Thanks very much, Mr. Dark. From another teacher, I take that as a high compliment!!
 
Posts: 774 | Location: Westmont, Illinois 60559 | Registered: 04 January 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Wish I'd have had an English teacher like that! Wasn't until college until I had a teacher and class that I actually liked!
 
Posts: 213 | Location: New Berlin, WI, USA | Registered: 21 June 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Far behind? The hound is here.

I saw a show on the History channel a few months ago about the "Soldier of the Future" - chameleon-like camouflage, bullets that bend around corners, and small robots that do the majority of reconnaissance and even some heavy fighting. Those things are already a reality - expensive and imperfect, but will be standard issue on the battlefields soon.

From the battlefield, we usually take objects of lethality and turn them into objects of practicality. Hence these vacuuming mice.

[This message has been edited by rm-r (edited 10-17-2004).]
 
Posts: 32 | Location: Provo, Utah, USA | Registered: 09 July 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Wow, truth IS stranger than fiction! All I knew about any of this is that Michael Jackson, in an interview, claimed that someone sent a remote control device into a bathroom he was in to spy on him on the toilet. Not sure whether I believed him.
 
Posts: 7188 | Location: Dayton, Washington, USA | Registered: 03 December 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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The Pedestrian and boulevard scenes from F451 may come a step closer with the rise of such statics nationally (site below). Walking will first be allowed only in designated areas, then at specified times, and finally only the rare bird will dare venture out - acting contrary to what is allowed: http://www.cnn.com/2004/US/12/02/pedestrian.deaths.ap/index.html

I walked the other night at 10:30, cold, crisp, a fine mist of rain with an occasional flake of snow floating down. Steam forming with every breath, bare trees, the scent of wood from stoves in the neighborhood. I had only to think of RB's images on the written page!

Luckily, no mechanical patrol or hound disturbed by evening stroll...

[This message has been edited by fjpalumbo (edited 12-02-2004).]
 
Posts: 731 | Registered: 29 November 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Then there is Chicago...
(other cities I am sure)...
installing dozens and dozens of new bullet proof cameras to spy on gang activity and drug use on Chicago streets. New ones are being added that catch a gun going off and automatically turn to the gun-flash and gun sound, telescoping in on the perpetrator. Hundreds of TV screens are monitored by scores in the law enforcements. Fine if handled by wise and practical reasons for their use. But terrfying when it falls into the hands of those with wrong and insidious intentions.
 
Posts: 3954 | Location: South Orange County, CA USA | Registered: 28 June 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Posts: 7188 | Location: Dayton, Washington, USA | Registered: 03 December 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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