Robots in our lives – level 3

Robots in our lives – level 3

25-05-2016 07:00

Offering a helping hand, robots have become a permanent and inescapable reality of 21st century living, and they’re about to be even more present.

"We're probably a few years away from having very serious robotics in our lives. The first thing is going to be self-driving cars and then hopefully in the next 20 or 30 years we'll start to see serious humanoid robots in our homes, doing all the sort of things that we imagine from science fiction."

We've long been intrigued by robots. Standing 9-foot-tall, Cygan was a celebrity robot of the fifties, able to crush cans in his hand, but now he's the centrepiece of plans for a new Science Museum exhibition in London, charting our fascination and fear of robots back to this model from the 16th century.

"There’s always that slight, you know, cloud on the horizon – they’re wonderful, they’re wonderful but we’re quite scared of them. That's natural, that’s human. On the basis of 500 years of history, it’s generally robots have tended to be used for people want them to do. The chances of them turning into this terrifying thing that enslaves us all, I think the chance of that is actually quite slim."

Our interest in robots may be rooted in the past, but the mystery behind what they're capable of continues to intrigue and may very well change the shape of our future.

Difficult words: permanent (lasting for a long time), intrigued by (interested in), chart (to show the progress of something), cloud on the horizon (a negative thing), tend (to be likely to do something).


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