The folks at The Robotics Institute at Carnegie Mellon dream of mechanical beings that help humans, or even replace them. Author Lee Gutkind got inside the Institute, and in his new book Almost Human: Making Robots Think he tells the stories of Zoe, Groundhog, Grace, and Sandstorm, some of the bots chasing, creeping, rolling, zooming, kicking soccer balls, and hunting for treasure on the floor of the Institute ... and the fascinating people behind the bots. Gutkind joins us today to tell us all about not just what he saw in the shop, but from the deserts of Chile to NASA headquarters and all the other places these robots go ... as well as the daunting challenge of inventing robots that actually think. It's not so far-out -- do you have a Segway? A Roomba? A self-parking car? Robots and robotics are everywhere, but do you want your robot to think?
March 21, 2007