June 14, 2005

"Clay" Robots

Scotsman.com News - Sci-Tech - Scientists unveil 'clay' robots that will shape our world via Make:blog

Images-39Well, nothing like a little hyperbole to excite people. (Ever get the feeling robotics is a lot of hype and not nearly as much proof as you might think?) Article from the Scotsman gets Make all a'lather; except the use of the term "clay" tends to skip over the fact that these things are not made or make clay.

Technorati Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Now that I've killed off the joy of the Play-doh/robotic fanatics had, let's see what it is: nano/atomic-sized robots which can mold themselves into shapes, a very cool idea. Of course, the writer goes a little hog-wild:

The new science of claytronics, which will use nanotechnology to create tiny robots called catoms, should enable three-dimensional copies of people to be "faxed" around the world for virtual meetings.

Yes, because we all can rely on minature clay robots created by caffine-addled computer scientists to create exact copies of ourselves which will be alive and functioning. (Pardon, my sarcasm meter's been stuck "on" all day, and I can't fix it. Those lovable claytronic guys must have goofed on the copy again...)

And it's all the better to know that this whole thing... is years too early.

However, progress been slow. So far, the group has been able to get four catoms - or claytronic atoms - to act together, but at more than 4cm in diameter, they are considerably larger than the nano-sized robots required to make the clay.

Cripes, people, at least don't announce something until you actually can prove it could be done. At least science fiction has the disclaimer that it's fiction right in the title.

Posted by Ted Stevko at June 14, 2005 12:48 AM | TrackBack