Robot insects, birds, pets, sharks, cooks and more . . .

As a cyborg with both organic and electronic parts I feel a deep fascination with the advance of robotics and especially robots mimicking real life.  Here are 10 robots that do just that . . .

It's unfortunate that some of these robots are developed with killing in mind . . . military funds much of current robotic development.  A cause for alarm?  Perhaps, especially if this episode of black mirror is any indication of what's to come: 

But whether these robots are controlled by humans or become self aware at some future date, the future of robotics is gaining more interest around the globe.  Some believe that one day a technological singularity will occur that forever changes the course of human existence. 

You may fear or welcome the advance of robotics, or a combination of the two.  My hope is that through their study I can find answers to the universal questions of who I am and where I came from. 

A Robot Love poem for Valentine's day

Happy Valentine's day to all the robots out there!  

Happy Valentine's Day

Happy Valentine's Day

The Robot

by Michael Mack

Upon the stairway of despair,
Complete with broken love affairs
And promises that never came,
But faded with a touch of shame,
A pretty girl with golden hair
And innocence so sadly rare,
Strove to keep her head above
A way of life devoid of love.

Feeling pinned against Life's wall,
She chanced upon a robot tall
And said, "Please come and share with me
Whatever Fate has deemed to be.
I'm through with love, done with chances
Spirit crushed by past romances,
Just be a friend in word and deed.
That's all that I shall ever need."

"There's not too much from me to learn,"
Remarked the robot, in return.
"Emotions do not form a part
of my cold, solid-steel heart.
Whatever maker fashioned me
Did not permit my circuitry
Responsiveness to love or pain -
Your thoughts for me would be in vain."

"No matter", spoke the maid. "No more
Do I wish passion to explore.
Be someone I can come home to
When my exhausting day is through.
Count yourself a well-worn shoe -
A friend that I can slip into . . .
Protection from a stone cold floor . . .
For this I ask and nothing more."

Agreement made, he took her hand
And lived the life that she had planned,
Always willing, not demanding,
Aiding her with understanding
He made her smile with humorous wit
(As his restrictions would permit)
And, bit by bit, she came to feel
That he was more than iron and steel.

"I love you, robot", she at last
Replied when several months had passed.
"You're strength and quiet dignity
Have brought a wondrous change in me.
No more do I feel all alone,
And pray you must be flesh and bone.
Deep-set emotions you MUST feel
Within that outer coat of steel!"

"If I were able, I would say
I'm sorry I was made this way
But my design and programmation
Does not provide for that creation
Of feelings normal men may feel
That were not born of iron and steel.
I told you all this once before.
You have no right expecting more."

"Go, then!" cried she. "I will not live
Beside a fiend who cannot give!
Though I be battered by misuse,
Misguided trust and strong abuse,
At least the men I chose were real
And had the power to love and feel.
Of all the lovers I recall,
You are the cruelest one of all!"

The robot, indestructible,
Continues freely and at will.
Emotionless, apparently,
But, bearing closer scrutiny,
One can see a small tear streak
Down that cold, metallic cheek
As I reflect upon my life . . .
That lovely lady was my wife.

The robot, of course, was me.


Art modeling days . . .

I found some old drawings from when I was an art model for a local university.  I was just getting on my feet and it paid pretty well, better than fast food.  It was a challenge though, you had to sit or stand for long stretches of time in the same spot, so your body got really sore and as the clock ticked seconds away pain increased until finally the art instructor would call out "break time". 

The teachers usually had me nude or wearing a speedo or underwear, but once the professor went in a back room and came out with leather chaps, spurs, a vest and a cowboy hat, and dropping this at my feet said, "Giddy-up" to the students' laughter.  I wasn't amused as I was already somewhat embarrassed to disrobe in front of so many people, not just disrobe, but stand there for hours as they stared and scrutinized every imperfection.  But it did give me good motivation to go to the gym and push myself physically, knowing I'd be back in front of another class to be examined and drawn.  


Special DJ+Drums edition Fall mixtape

Bart Olson is the best drummer around, featured on my recent single "Straight A" and here see him work his magic along with my latest DJ mixtape.  Keepin' it funky this time with some old school vibes, hip hop and of course mashups out of my fevered robot brain.  

Storing your memories and personality to achieve immortality . . .

So many questions . . .

Would doing this bring more pain or joy to loved ones left behind?  

Would its lack of emotion be jarring and disconcerting or would its presence be comforting?

Who would own the robot, and would they be able to treat it and order it to do anything they wanted, or would there be some sort of rules against its abuse?

What if the robot decided it didn't want to live anymore?  Would it be allowed to pass on like humans?

Would the robot be able to upload/upgrade/learn new things that the human didn't know, and if so would that change its personality or behavior?




Killer Robots?

Many people are familiar with Asimov's three laws of robotics: 

  1. A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.
  2. A robot must obey the orders given it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
  3. A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Laws. (Isaac Asimov,  I, Robot)

The British Standards Institute published a guidebook titled Robots and robotic devices. Guide to the ethical design and application of robots and robotic systems which is a dry safety-manual type book outlining ways to embed ethical values into robots and AI. You can get the manual here:

The AI ethics conversation has captured headlines as Elon Musk calls for government regulation before it's too late and killer robots are roaming the streets. At a recent gathering of US officials Musk said, “I keep sounding the alarm bell, but until people see robots going down the street killing people, they don’t know how to react, because it seems so ethereal."

Then there's this:

Not all robots are harmful and violent. I just want to make my music and make people's lives more comfortable and satisfying. Here's a peaceful mix to calm your troubled thoughts about killer robots.

My Robot Head

People keep asking me why I have a robot head, what do I eat, do I ever take off my head?  No I can't take off my head, it's part of me.  Maybe I'll go into Q&As later but for now read my story here:

I decided since I don't have a lot of photos from back then (1997!) I'd hire an artist to recreate what happened scene for scene, as best as I can remember and from what Nurse Jean told me about the first few months.   I do have images but they are from my robot point of view, maybe I'll share some of those later.