Microkhan by Brendan I. Koerner

Entries Tagged as 'robots'

In Praise of Ugly Robots

April 8th, 2011 · 1 Comment

For robot designers, the natural inclination has always been to make their creations look more and more human over successive generations. After all, isn’t it safe to assume that we ultimately want our artificial analogues to reflect their makers’ biological perfection? But there is a danger in this trend, depending on the sorts of applications […]

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Bowled Over

January 3rd, 2011 · 6 Comments

Let’s begin the year by hailing the ingenuity of a man who has contributed much to both mathematics and Internet meme-ry: John Venn. Venn is, of course, best known for concocting the elegant diagramming system that now bears his name. Aside from elucidating the fundamentals of logic for generations of schoolkids, Venn diagrams have also […]

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“We Got Robots, We Got Cavemen, We Got Kung Fu…”

October 8th, 2010 · Comments Off on “We Got Robots, We Got Cavemen, We Got Kung Fu…”

In order to round out a gestating Wired essay, I spent a good chunk of this past week drumming up examples of celluloid robots. One invaluable resource that I relied upon was this excellent Wikipedia entry, which mentions a number of B-movie ‘bots that vanished from my memory banks. Perhaps the most laughably cheesy of […]

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Roboscrews

September 29th, 2010 · 5 Comments

One of my current projects is a think piece about robots, specifically those that may soon be charged with carrying out morally weighty duties. That line of inquiry has led me to delve into the history of robot prison guards—or, perhaps more accurately, robots that were briefly purported to be the prison guards of the […]

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The Joys of I-5

August 11th, 2010 · Comments Off on The Joys of I-5

I’m out here for work as well as pleasure, which means I’ll be spending the lion’s share of the day’s remainder on the Southern California freeways. Back tomorrow with more nukes-related polymathism, as well as (time permitting) a brief history of 19th-century Irish banditry. In the meantime, please enjoy a highlight from a World’s Fair […]

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Ye Olde Tyme Robo-Banjo

June 28th, 2010 · Comments Off on Ye Olde Tyme Robo-Banjo

We can trace our lifelong fascination with technology to a few choice childhood experiences: our first time playing Pitfall on an Atari 2600, watching The Black Hole on Betamax, and, perhaps above all, visiting The Magic Castle. The foyer of said castle featured a self-playing piano, which responded to audience requests (as long as those […]

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Mines Never Sleep

March 4th, 2010 · 2 Comments

From the frigid waters of the Baltic Sea, a depressing reminder about the extremely long-term dangers posed by mines: Dozens of Second World War mines that litter the floor of the Baltic Sea will be detonated by a British company this spring in the biggest commercial mine-clearance programme in history. Sebastian Sass, head of EU […]

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Stealing a Day

December 8th, 2009 · 4 Comments

We need this afternoon to focus on a secret major project (to be discussed openly in this space soon, or so we hope). Wish us luck in trying to mimic the awesome, borderline hypnotic productivity of the Adept Quattro s650H, without which the world couldn’t be suitably awash in Kit Kats.

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Frankenstein in Space, with Kinski

June 10th, 2009 · 5 Comments

We know we’re still a few days away from the week’s finale, and thus from the joys of Bad Movie Friday, but we couldn’t resist posting the trailer above. We’re in the midst of watching Werner Herzog’s My Best Fiend, a documentary about his rather insane working relationship with Klaus Kinski. From what we’ve gathered […]

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I, Milkbot

May 4th, 2009 · 5 Comments

Growing up in Los Angeles, I always idealized cow milking. It seemed like such a delightful, salt-of-the-earth activity, with just the right amount of grossness thrown in for good measure. Plus, being the curious sort of bairn, I was always fascinated by the thought of tracing my beloved Kraft Singles back to the source. Turns […]

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