things magazine / about / what's new? / archive / photos / projects / order / rss / search
photography from the pre-flickr era
projects, scans and collections
Where is things 19/20?
What is things magazine?
The Pelican Project
thingsmagazine.tumblr.com
external links
0lll
2 or 3 things I know
aalog
actar
adam curtis
agence eureka
aggregat 4/5/6
alice the architect
all about nothing (x)
all things considered (x)
alphaville
alttext
ambit magazine
anarchitecture
and another thing
anti-mega
apothecary's drawer
arcspace
arch daily
archinect
archidose
archiveteam
architects' journal
architect's newspaper blog
architectural review
architectural ruminations
architecture.mnp
archnewsnow
arkitektur
art fag city
art is everywhere
art newspaper
arts journal
artnotes
ashleyb
atelier a+d
ateliermob
atlas (t)
atlas obscura
badaude
bad british architecture
bifurcated rivets
the big picture
blanketfort
bldg blog
blissblog
b'blog of 'israeli
boing boing
b******* to architecture
books from finland
booooooom
bottom drawer (x)
bouphonia
bowblog
bradley's almanac
buchanansmith
butterpaper
cabinet magazine
cabinet of wonders
candyland (x)
cartoonist (the)
cartype
caterina
city of sound
city comforts
collision detection
conscientious
continuity in architecture
coromandal
core77
coroflot
cosmopolitan scum
coudal
creative review blog
curious expeditions
daily jive
dancing bears (x)
daniel eatock
dark roasted blend
david thompson
death by architecture
delicious
delicious ghost
deputy dog (x)
derelict london
designboom
design bivouac
design observer
dezain
dezeen
diamond geezer
digitally distributed environments
diskant
efimera
eliot shepard
ephemera
excitement machine
eye of the goof
fantastic journal
fed by birds
feuilleton
ftrain
fireland
first drafts
five foot way
Ffffound!
further
future feeder
gadgets.fosfor.se
gapers block
giornale nuovo
greg
grow-a-brain
haddock
halvorsen
hat projects
hchamp
hello beautiful!
hot wheels
htc experiments
hyperkit
hyperreal and supercool
i like
iconeye.com
incoming signals
infinite thought
inhabitat
the interior prospect
irregular orbit
iso50
jean snow
joe moran's blog
josh rubin
judit bellostes
kanye west
kazys
keep left london
kosmograd
kottke
landliving
languagehat
largehearted boy
last plane to jakarta
lewism
life without buildings
lightningfield (x)
limited language (x)
literary saloon
loca london
london architecture diary
london review of books
low tech magazine
made by machines for people
made in china '69
magCulture
making light
mananarama
map room
material world
mcsweeneys
men's vogue daily
metafilter
metafilter projects
microkhan
militant esthetix
millennium people
mimoa
miss representation
mocoloco
moosifer jones' grouch
monocle
monoscope
mountain 7
mrs deane
music thing (x)
myrtle street
netdiver
no, 2 self
nothing to see here
noisy decent graphics
noticias arquitectura
NTK
nyclondon
obscure store
obsessive consumption
one plus one equals three
oobject
open brackets (x)
ouno design
overmorgen (x)
panopticist
parenthetically's
partIV (x)
pcl linkdump
the peel tapes
perpenduum
personism
platforma arquitectura
plasticbag (x)
pointingit (x)
polar intertia
plep
print fetish
quiet feather (x)
raccoon
rashomon
re: design news
reference library
rock, paper, shotgun
rodcorp
rogue semiotics
rolu
rossignol
rotational
route 79
russell davies
sachs report
salon
samuel pepys' diary
school of life
scrubbles
segal books
sensing architecture
sensory impact
sesquipedalist
sevensevennine
shape and colour
sharpeworld
shift
shorpy
sit down man, you're...
slow web
snopes
space and culture
spambot_stopper
speak up
spillway
spitting image
strange attractor
strange harvest
strange maps
strawdogs
subterranea britannica
subtopia
sugar-n-spicy
supercolossal
superspatial
swapatorium
swiss miss
tecnologia obsoleta
tecznotes
telstar logistics
tesugen
textism
that's how it happened
the art of where
the deep north
the letter
the model city
the moment blog
the morning news
the nonist
the northern light
the one train
the serif
the silver lining
the white noise revisited
they rule
things to look at
this isn't London
tom phillips
tomorrow's thoughts today
transpontine
turquoise days (x)
typographica
urban cartography
urbantick
vitamin q
voyou desoeuvre
vwork
wallpaper
we make money not art
we will become
weblogs.com
weburbanist
where (x)
white noise of everyday life
wikipedia
wikio
witold riedel
whole lotta nothing
wood s lot
wrong distance
xblog


weblog archives
eXTReMe Tracker
Monday, April 07, 2003
Automatons for the people

A robot round-up, courtesy of this me-fi link. Robodex, Japan's premiere consumer robot show saw the latest round of domestic technology on display (BBC summary here). Of course, no-one needs a robot in their lives - we've got on pretty well without them for a while. But the expectation is there, a seed sowed by countless fictions, whether literary or cinematic, and few now doubt that domestic robots will eventually become commonplace.

The huge popularity of Sony's classic AIBO set the pace. Originally intended as a limited-edition technological showcase (and priced accordingly), the interest generated by the robot dog (later cat, apparently) swiftly spawned cheaper, better second and third generation models. People love their AIBOs (webring), and other, increasingly sophisticated robot pets are swarming onto the market (related: Can a dog tell the difference? What happens when AIBO meets a real dog: movie. AIBO football).

But will a robot ever be more than an expensive toy? For now, as one might expect, all eyes are on Japan. No-one quite knows what shape robots will ultimately take, so in order to make an emotional connection with what is essentially a mobile computer, anthropomorphism seems to be the best option (especially in a nation that worships cute). The other option is to imitate humans: leading the pack is Honda's Asimo, a compact humanoid robot with a growing cult following. Still too expensive for the domestic consumer, and with little purpose in life save for climbing stairs and opening the NY stock exchange, Asimo is just a hint of things to come.

Other manufacturers aren't imitating us at all. Epson's tiny robot seems to suggest swarms of intelligent machines (as long as they're not robotic crickets), while Sanyo's Banryu is an early attempt to create a robot with a purpose. The Banryu is a sort of surveillance device (for obsessives who want a little bit extra), designed to lumber around your home sniffing out gas leaks, intruders, domestic terrorism and all the other things people obsess about from work. It'll then take a snapshot of the problem and send it to your mobile phone, so you get a little pixellated view of your smouldering bedroom. It's a great idea in principle, but one can't help wonder whether the target market would rather hold out for something with a bit more bite. We have no idea what this does at all.

Elsewhere. Paltry fuel efficiency increases should allow for a few more years of SUV inflation. The UK branch of the World Monuments Fund has lots of info about threatened buildings, but unsurprisingly the risk levels don't come close to certain hotspots: Erbil Citadel, Nineveh Palace. More conservation matters: one of SITE Architects' iconic BEST stores is apparently under threat.

Unrelated. Faux innocent illustration from Japan. See also the Cool Museum (via Quasimeta, who has an eye for this sort of thing). Maison Neuve is a magazine of ‘eclectic curiosity’. Pig Iron Malt is a literary zine, while Fictionline is a short story competition with lots and lots to read. Finally, Delve is an 'exploration of visual culture', featuring great photography. We especially like Noah David Smith's Cars and Ofer Wolberger's Anywhere (wow), both classic examples of 'No-place' photography. Issue 3 is devoted to the letter 'H', Sesame Street-style.