TITLE: WE: ROBOT: The Robots That Already Rule Our World
AUTHOR: David Hambling
PUBLICATION DATE: 2018
FORMAT: ebook/ PDF
ISBN-13: 978 1 78131 805 8
NOTE: I received a copy of this book from NetGalley. This review is my honest opinion of the book.
From the blurb:
Robots exist all around us. They populate our factories, assist our surgeons and have become an integral part of our armed forces. But they are not just working behind the scenes – impressive inventions such as free-roaming hoovers takecare of your household chores and the iPal is set to become your closest friend.
David Hambling reveals the groundbreaking machines – once the realm of science fiction – that are by our sides today, and those that are set to change the future forever. From the Reem robocop that polices the streets of Dubai to the drones that deliver our parcels and even the uncanny Gemonoid Hi-4 built to look just like you, here are fifty unique robots that reach into every aspect of our daily lives.
We:Robot examines why robots have become embedded in our culture, how they work and what they tell us about our society and its future.
In We:Robot, David Hambling discusses the myriad of ways that robots and humans already work together and what the future may hold for robot-human interactions. He provides a variety of specific robotic examples under four categories: robots at work, robots at war, robots in your life and robots beyond. Each robot example includes a page sized diagram (and sometimes a photograph), its dimensions, construction material, power source, processor, year of first use and then a summary of the robot's history and uses.
Examples of specific robots include:
(1) industrial robots such as those that help put cars together, those that are designed to pick strawberries, skyscraper window washers (aptly named the Gekko Facade Robot), pilotbots, the alpha burger-bot, and the robot that herds and milks cows!!;
(2) household, lifestyle and medical robots such as the Roomba "vacuum cleaner", the Automower 450X, the Da Vinci Surgical System, the kiddies entertainment unit (IPAL - not sure letting a robot raise your child is a good idea, but it's there!), bionic hands;
(3) war robots such as drones, the packhorse replacement packbot, exoskeletons; and
(4) robots in the future such as the robonaut, underwater dolphin robot, a remote controlled lifeguard robot, Curiosity Mars rover, the soft, squishy octobot, swarming kilobots, and the Dubai police robots.
I found this book to be particularly fascinating - I had no idea there were that many robots running around! The writing style is clear and conversational, with no technobabble. The illustrations are beautifully (and colourfully) rendered and accompanied by colour photographs of a selection of the stranger robots.
This is an interesting book that takes a look at some specific robots, how they work, how they fit into our lives and what the future holds for us and them. I suspect even technophobes will find this book interesting.