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The Internet Robotics

Robots Are Net's Future, Says Vint Cerf 118

Posted by timothy
from the would-be-great-for-remote-grocery-picking dept.
Ned Nederlander writes "Vint Cerf talks the future of the Internet with Ed Cone: 'I expect to see much more interesting interactions, including the possibility of haptic interactions — touch. Not just touch screens, but the ability to remotely interact with things. Little robots, for example, that are instantiations of you, and are remotely operated, giving you what is called telepresence. It's a step well beyond the kind of video telepresence we are accustomed to seeing today.'"
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Robots Are Net's Future, Says Vint Cerf

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  • At last! (Score:5, Funny)

    by Haffner (1349071) on Thursday September 04, 2008 @02:59PM (#24878007)
    Slashdot readers will finally have satisfying girlfriends.
    • Re:At last! (Score:5, Funny)

      by kalirion (728907) on Thursday September 04, 2008 @03:07PM (#24878157)

      Don't forget satisfied girlfriends.

    • Re:At last! (Score:5, Funny)

      by TheLostSamurai (1051736) on Thursday September 04, 2008 @03:25PM (#24878413)
      Personally, I'm looking forward to this finally making it possible for me to be able to work from home. I can have a robot sitting in my office chair browsing Slashdot while pretending to work, being controlled by me from my house browsing Slashdot and pretending to work.
      • Puny earthling! The inevitable takeover of your environment by the metallic overlords of the future will ensure that the only office will be one in the "Real live humans diorama!" by which junior robotic overlords will occasionally amuse themselves my pulling the limbs off a helpless fleshy one! Call-Me-Kenneth says: Flesh Ones Must Die!
      • by Gilmoure (18428)

        Tell me about it. Hell, I'll even skip the browsing slashdot at home and head over to LJ. Sucks I'm only allowed to post inane, pointless comments on tech sites at work and not social sites.

        I like toidals!

      • World of World of Warcraft!
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by sm62704 (957197)

      Only at slashdot would the first post be modded "redundant". [slashdot.org] Mods, please consult a dictionary, [reference.com] there are several on the internet. That was offtopic, not redundant.

      As this comment will now directly address the parent, [uncyclopedia.org] it is not offtopic. Mod it -1, lame. [uncyclopedia.org]

      Dude, robots are going to have to come a long, long way before... oops, bad choice of words.

      Robots are going to have to, erm, get a lot more high tech before they'll satisfy. But at any rate, girlfriends go for twenty bucks here in Springfield. See A Nerd's [slashdot.org]

      • by Vexorian (959249)
        It wasn't really offtopic either, was it? Just wanted to state that a first post can truly be redundant, imagine a first post that simply repeated the summary all over again...
      • It's a very tired joke. It's redundant.

    • Slashdot readers will finally have satisfying girlfriends.

      Well, teledildonics have been around for a while.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Teledildonics [wikipedia.org]

  • I, for one, welcome our new robotic overlords.
  • by MyLongNickName (822545) on Thursday September 04, 2008 @03:02PM (#24878059) Journal

    ... just imagine what manifestation the new V!ag@ spam will take on.

  • Vint Cerf may have created the internet, but I'm a fortune teller and therefore have more authority over the future of the internet. The future is not robots, it's ham sandwiches. Amazing, isn't it? It will give you what I call telesancwichessence.

  • Pffft! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by sm62704 (957197) on Thursday September 04, 2008 @03:08PM (#24878165) Journal

    Science fiction writers have been saying this for decades. Actually, I think the esteemed Vincent Cerf has been talking to Captain Obvious. [uncyclopedia.org]

    Robotics will have to both become far less expensive, and far more developed than now before this happens. I'm already 56, I may not see it.

    • by Jangchub (1139089)
      Yeah that plainly sucks that you might not see it, if it happens. For some idiotic human reason I've replaced faith in religion with a not-quite-faith-but-more-than-hope in technology. All those people who said that men that live fully don't despair death haven't had the opportunity to live without death of 'natural' cause. we're not talking immortality here but fuck a few hundred years at least! I have a theory that there could be more stages to the human psychological cycle if we could just live longer
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by sm62704 (957197)

        I don't fear being dead, but as I actually died once [kuro5hin.org] I don't look forward to the transition from life to death. Those who die in their sleep, or die without pain or suffering, are extremely lucky. My ex-wife's mother died in mid sentence, never knowing she was dying! That's the way to go, I think.

        My grandmother lived a hundred years. She outlived her siblings, her friends, two husbands, and three of her four children. As a father I can't imagine anything worse than outliving one of your children. When Grand

  • by TheNarrator (200498) on Thursday September 04, 2008 @03:10PM (#24878205)

    Imagine! You could control a robot playing tennis remotely! Oh wait.. What if the network lags. Oh we just simulate what would actually be going on the remote tennis court on the local machine and just pause the remote player's screen until we actually hit the ball and then we can send him a message telling him how hard we hit it and in what direction.

    Oh WAIT! We're talking about REALITY not a simulation. Well then.. If we lagged we missed the ball and there's no way to paper over it like we can in virtual worlds.

    If you had a traditional robot playing tennis running a hard real-time operating system then everything from moving into place, winding up and swinging would all take a predictable amount of time and given a good algorithm one could play a pretty good game.

    Anyway, Tennis is a relatively trivial example but things that happen in the physical world where physical forces are in play do not tolerate internet like latency very well. You cannot send xon/xoff like flow control signals to reality.

    • by Korin43 (881732)
      I don't think Tennis is to the sort of thing you'd use telepresence for..
      • by thermian (1267986)

        I don't think Tennis is to the sort of thing you'd use telepresence for..

        Remember the trail they did with students where you could make the recipients phone vibrate when you squeezed yours?

        It, ah, wasn't used in the way they expected.

        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by Gilmoure (18428)

          I can only really think of one reason to make someone else's phone buzz. Are there others?

      • by Gilmoure (18428)

        They did in The Lost Saucer [wikipedia.org]!

    • by sm62704 (957197)

      You could control a robot playing tennis remotely! Oh wait.. What if the network lags.

      The same thing that happened ten years ago when we were playing Quake over the internet. Except, of course, bots will be LEGAL. Look at the lag the Martian robots have, and they work incredibly well.

      Ever since Pac man came out there is a robotic room I wanted to build. I wanted to make a 3D pack man game you actually got inside of. I even drew up plans once.

      You would have LCD screens (my original vision had projectors; it

      • by KovaaK (1347019)

        You could control a robot playing tennis remotely! Oh wait.. What if the network lags.

        The same thing that happened ten years ago when we were playing Quake over the internet.

        Take a look at what netcode in modern FPS games - they like to use client-side prediction algorithms that give you a good idea of where enemy players will be by the time your mouse click gets to the server to say that you fired your gun. With the Tennis ball's velocity/rotational velocity, wind speed, and a general idea of how lagged your network is, you can give the client side a smooth, "unlagged" feeling.

        Of course, this gets more complicated in FPS games due to those evil enemy players not moving in pr

      • Look at the lag the Martian robots have

        Indeed, 40 minutes one-way light time at some points in the orbit. Or at least it was during the 1976 Viking I landing, but I'm so out of touch they could have changed the universal constants since then.

    • by geekoid (135745)

      The robot would probably be able to handle some limited decisions should communication slow down.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by ChrisA90278 (905188)

      "Anyway, Tennis is a relatively trivial example but things that happen in the physical world where physical forces are in play do not tolerate internet like latency very well. You cannot send xon/xoff like flow control signals to reality."

      That is correct, so the way it would work is to isue higher level commands. Much like a coach would to a player. The coach gives only higher level statigy like "Stay more left of center and move up a bit." As robots become better they will need les and less real-time co

    • If you're going to have robots interacting with robots, skip the metal and play Warcraft.
    • Put your hand on the back of your head. Feel about for the slight lump about an inch up from where your neck meets your head. Push it slightly left and in. A panel should pop open. Push the third DIP switch from the left (from your POV, looking in the mirror) into the second position. That should enable xon/xoff to reality. Unless you're one of the older models.
    • Anyway, Tennis is a relatively trivial example but things that happen in the physical world where physical forces are in play do not tolerate internet like latency very well. You cannot send xon/xoff like flow control signals to reality.

      But if you can have sense-realistic telepresence, why need reality in the first place?

    • by mobby_6kl (668092)

      There's lag in real life, it's called "reaction time". Most regular people have at least 150 milliseconds of this lag and probably a good deal more [humanbenchmark.com]. Yet, REALITY somehow works.

      The only way to get network latency that bad nowadays is to use a dial up connection or a heavily congested link to a location on the opposite side of the world. The non-zero latency is of course something that has to be accounted for, but it's not a guarantee of failure.

  • If a robot stands for President 2008, I'll vote for it, err... him.

  • Teledildonics (Score:3, Insightful)

    by corsec67 (627446) on Thursday September 04, 2008 @03:13PM (#24878255) Homepage Journal

    Teledildonics [wikipedia.org] seem to be an instantiation of what he is talking about.

    • I hope they choose a more mainstreamable name for this technology, which has great application for stuff beyond the naughty. I can think of a lot: teledonics, teletronics, telebotics, teletactlics, teletactics, teletouch ...

  • Low-latency.. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by molo (94384) on Thursday September 04, 2008 @03:14PM (#24878267) Journal

    I don't see how this would be possible without major commercial investment in high speed low-latency intercity links (like the .edus on Internet2). This kind of remote interactivity requires very low latency in order for it to be remotely feasible.

    Remember what the original Quake was like on a 200ms connection? Talk about skating.. Oh, and you can't do client-side prediction in real-world telepresence. I wouldn't want to be in the room when someone was operating a remote machine with high latency.

    Would have some definite applications in the DoD though. It might restore the original definition of "strafing".

    -molo

    • by smoker2 (750216)

      Oh, and you can't do client-side prediction in real-world telepresence. I wouldn't want to be in the room when someone was operating a remote machine with high latency.

      So surgery [timesonline.co.uk] is right out then ?

    • by AnyoneEB (574727)
      It is a prediction for 20 years in the future. Hopefully our internet connections will be better by then.
    • very low latency in order for it to be remotely feasible.

      Yes, low-latency will be valuable. But remotely feasible? I'd challenge that. Latency is pretty low. Unless you are trying to react to events in split seconds, most anything can be done.

  • What's the point? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by kalirion (728907) on Thursday September 04, 2008 @03:14PM (#24878283)

    For social meetings, etc, would a robot avatar be that much better than a virtual avatar? I can understand when physical actions are actually required on the other end. But meetings? That would just be creepy.

  • Creativity ??? ... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by foobsr (693224) on Thursday September 04, 2008 @03:24PM (#24878401) Homepage Journal
    From TFA: Another change I'm pretty sure will happen over the course of the next 20 to 50 years is the way we interact these online systems, or even with local ones. Today it's keyboards and mice, but I expect interactions, conversational interactions, gestural interactions to be normal.

    Sounds like a quote from a prediction of how interaction with computers will evolve from about 40 years ago.

    Rather I would expect humans to become part of the cloud via low level (nano) interfaces on a borg line (or part of the 'Big Media' as a successor to the 'do no evil' corp).

    CC.
  • they want their web agents back

    same old shit, repackaged with new terms

    i wonder what the next buzzword will be used to describe client-server architecture anew?

  • One of the best things about the web is that it connects all of us without necessitating a physical presence. The resources necessary for multiple physical robots would be counter-productive and take away a good deal of what makes wide-area networks so effective and useful.
  • great (Score:1, Interesting)

    by nimbius (983462)
    one more person who has to create another tangible step backward for technology.

    its called a script, vint. ive been making these tiny robots my entire career.

    theres a distint possibility Mr. Cerf is too old to be anything but a father figure to the tubes waxing steampunk on an internet he likely hasnt shared familiarity with in around a decade.. nothing to see here. move along
    • by Icarium (1109647)

      Thanks, responses like yours make it very easy to see if someone RTFA or not. You obviously didn't.


  • Like Pintsize and Winslow from the webcomic "Questionable Content"

    Take a look:
    http://questionablecontent.net/view.php?comic=1222 [questionablecontent.net]
  • A slim cylinder plug that vibrates when "You've got mail!"
  • by Animats (122034) on Thursday September 04, 2008 @04:03PM (#24879041) Homepage

    The whole point of robots is not to require an operator.

    Teleoperators have their uses, but those uses are limited. They're useful if the worksite is dangerous (disarming bombs), unsuitable for humans (underwater), or on a different scale (surgical teleoperators). Remotely piloted vehicles have their uses, too, but even there, the trend is toward automated vehicles.

    The remote-presence thing might be useful for people who go to too many meetings and don't have enough clout to force them to be videoconferences. This is a niche market.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by AeroIllini (726211)

      Teleoperators are required when the decision tree is too complex for a robot to do autonomously. They are used when nothing but a wet human brain will do, but the human hardware (fragile and/or poorly dexterous tissue and bone) is not up to task.

      Your examples (bomb diffusing, underwater exploration, surgery) all fit this mold. Better to have a human brain making the decisions for hardened robotic hardware than to have a simplistic autonomous decision tree in charge. These applications are not going away.

    • by zobier (585066)

      Yeah, I'm more interested in the field of full-body haptics as it relates to virtual reality, although I'm beginning to think lucid dreaming or astral projection might be more practical. Yes I have had lucid dreams although I can't trigger them regularly yet, no I'm not sure I believe astral projection is possible. I just want fully immersive VR damnit.

    • (jokingly) How about people who are too fat and lazy to get off the couch? Sounds like a pretty big niche to me... pun intended.

  • Remote robots modeled after the the PRC leader will be the new craze this Christmas.

    I, for one, welcome our new remote maoist robot overlords.

  • Didn't we already have this discussion [slashdot.org] once after someone had already done it? [therecord.com]

    When he was wandering around at night looking for someone to "plug him in" .... Talk about reaching out and touching someone. Wow!

  • It's a good thing I got my insurance [robotmarketplace.com] premiums paid up!

  • Robo-David-Coppafeel.
  • I just finished working on this project:
    http://www.bpexplorer.com.au/ [bpexplorer.com.au]

    (NB: Aussie and Kiwi users only can drive - sorry, but for obvious reasons of course)

    Basically users queue up and control a robot tank with a web cam attached to it. The streaming IS slightly laggy, but very usable for the purpose.

    I wrote the car controller etc. Lots of fun and the best dev project I have worked on. Unique challenges and all that. My degree/research just happened to be in Artificial Intellegence - so a nice (albeit acciden

  • That's genius! In fact, we should connect all devices to the internet, from little robots to buses to ovens. And we create a VR world as a representation of the internet. In order to navigate this world we'd develop little avatars or "Navigators" who run around and interact with semi-sentient programs and each other. Of course there will still be malware, so I think we should use unptched security holes in the Navigator protocol (which viruses will also have to use) to allow Navigators to attack and even de
  • How about this as an example, the "remote controlled killers" - http://edition.cnn.com/2008/TECH/07/09/remote.fighters/index.html#cnnSTCVideo [cnn.com]
  • by Anonymous Coward

    If the little robots allow the long-held dream of being able to punch someone in the face through the internet, there will be griefers and it'll be banned.

    If the little robots are helpless against physical humans, there will be griefers and it'll be a failure.

  • This would be sweet for any data operators who wish to telecommute. We could do anything but swap tapes and install, reboot, or repair servers. With a remotely controlled robot, however, we could do all that. And have litle battle with them when we got bored. Okay, that last part is what we really want them for. But still. We COULD theoretically get work done with them too!
  • ... we will be able to poke people in the eye over the Internet.
  • by Fry-kun (619632) on Thursday September 04, 2008 @10:38PM (#24883227)

    #4281
    <Zybl0re> get up
    <Zybl0re> get on up
    <Zybl0re> get up
    <Zybl0re> get on up
    <phxl|paper> and DANCE
    * nmp3bot dances :D-<
    * nmp3bot dances :D|-<
    * nmp3bot dances :D/-<
    <[SA]HatfulOfHollow> i'm going to become rich and famous after i invent a device that allows you to stab people in the face over the internet

    source [archive.org]
    (using web.archive.org because bash.org is down)

  • If you thought the intartubes were slow now, wait until they get clogged with all those robots crawling through them.

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