Wednesday, October 3, 2007

The Future of Personal Robots (1986)

The May-June 1986 issue of The Futurist magazine ran an article titled, "The Future of Personal Robots." An excerpt appears below.

Robots can already be used to entertain young children. Their entertainment value for older children and adults, however, is for the most part limited to the intellectual challenge of programming them. But future robots will be complete home-entertainment centers, able to sing and dance and tell jokes, as well as control all your electronic entertainment equipment - TV, radio, stereo, computer games and telephone.

Like many paleo-futuristic images of robots, the article imagines the robot as a mechanical person, one of the least useful forms a robot can take for those living in 2007. Taken literally, it is difficult to image the robot that will, "sing and dance and tell jokes," being mass-produced anytime soon.

Also, do the people above live in a house with kitchen counters just two feet tall or is Omnibot one hell of a jumper?

See also:
Closer Than We Think! Robot Housemaid (1959)
Robot Farms (1982)
The Robot Rebellion (1982)
Japanese Retail Robots (1986)
Robots: The World of the Future (1979)
Living Room of the Future (1979)


Bob said...

Sometime in the early eighties, I saw this headline on the front page of a technology weekly: "Robot Mates by the Year 2000." A couple of years later, I got married anyway. It's a good thing I did, or I'd still be waiting.

Anonymous said...

Two feet? Try six inches. They're really exaggerating the capabilities of what's essentially a radio-controlled toy.

Mr. Cavin said...

This from the annals of, um, contemporary futurism: robot comedy competition, November 2007. See you there.

Anonymous said...

Well, that robot must have a jet pack. Where's mine?