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I'm a consulting geologist for a small company in the Denver area. I study problems related to active tectonics, using geomorphology, structural geology and remote sensing.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

form follows fiction

it never ceases to amaze me how concepts and creations of science fiction frequently end up coming to fruition in the 'real-world'. communication satellites, space travel, cell phones and robotics are all things which we take for granted, but which all were born from people's wild imaginations of the things which might someday be possible, at a time when none of these concepts were anything more than 'science-fiction'. never mind another underlying unifying theme of all of these items, the birth of the practical applications of these gizmos as the public sector offspring of the brainchildren of the military industrial complex cartels.

it's one thing for for a concept like a dick-tracy wrist video communicator to be realized as something like a motorola flip-phone... the concept is similar but the form is constrained by cost and technology... but it's entirely another thing for new robots rolling off production lines to almost perfectly mimic characters out of highly stylized japanese anime series. i'm referring to vecna technologies' new "bear" (battlefield extraction assist robot)... a robot that utilizes dynamic balance behaviour (like the segway personal transports) which allows it to balance upright as well as roll on tracks while supporting the weight of a soldier with a high 'strength' hydraulic upper body, and sports a teddy-bear head to reassure the wounded (seriously). the funny thing here is the fact that this is something that is almost exactly out of shirow masamune's anime, "appleseed". see below, and see for yourself.


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