August 29, 1997 was the date when Skynet became self-aware in the world existing in the movie franschise Terminator. It was the time when machine started to take over the world. Since I first saw that movie I have been asking myself how the machines would look when they finally took over the world. At this moment, I think that ABB is one the right path of building the first machine that actually looks like the killer robots I’ve had in mind.
I present to you; FRIDA, the concept humanoid looking friendly robot.
Instead of building bulky robots lifting entire factories there has been something of a wave of new machines being showed off. FRIDA is a concept on how a resource replacement bot should look which would require minimal effort to get into a regular work place. Something that almost look humanoid, not due to the fact that all killer robots should look human, instead to build something you can use to replace a biological worker without having to rebuild factories and workplaces. Simply a machine which can sit in your chair, using your tools, just as if there was another person there.
We need to create machines which will not kill us all.
When we use a machine which look and is sized as a regular human, sitting next to a human, it becomes very important to ensure that it suddenly don’t use the person next to it as lubricant for its new power dril or perhaps just ignore a human standing in it’s path. This is when Isaac Asimov once again come into play. We need to create machines which will not kill us all. Even if the machine has no way of making own decisions, it must have the ability to understand when someone is getting hurt and if so, stop hurting. I bet there are engineers at ABB with a smile on their faces just because of the nature of their work, to ensure that the robots will not hurt the humans.
FRIDA is still a concept so if you are working in a factory, you do not have to start panic just yet. There will some time before these machines can be bought but do think that what we see here is not the last but perhaps the first look of how our robot overlords will look. I do belive that there are many jobs today done by humans where these machines can do the work instead, create a safer environment for people today. Also we should not forget that automation will lead to freedom and increased efficiency. And since they have not yet developed any maintenance bots which can perform maintenance on machines, humans is actually still needed.
However; looking at the images of FRIDA, isn’t it painfully similar looking to the bots in iRobot?
For more information about FRIDA go to any of these sites where I found the information above: