The high bay at the Robotics Institute at Carnegie Mellon University is alive and hyper night and day with the likes of Hyperion, which traversed the Antarctic, and Zoe, the world's first robot scientist, now back home. Robot Segways learn to play soccer, while other robots go on treasure hunts or are destined for hospitals and museums. Dozens of cavorting mechanical creatures, along with tangles of wire, tools, and computer innards are scattered haphazardly. All of these zipping and zooming gizmos are controlled by disheveled young men sitting on the floor, folding chairs, or tool cases, or huddled over laptops squinting into displays with manic intensity. Award-winning author Lee Gutkind immersed himself in this frenzied subculture, following these young roboticists and their bold conceptual machines from Pittsburgh to NASA and to the most barren and arid desert on earth. He makes intelligible their discoveries and stumbling points in this lively behind-the-scenes work.
Making Robots Think
January 2, 2010Lee Gutkind's 2007 book Almost Human: Making Robots Think offers an optimistic view of the world of robotics: no, robots will not... read more
Wall Street Journal
March 16, 2007What emerges in "Almost Human" is a fascinating, frustrating, sad story. The Carnegie-Mellon researchers have big dreams. They... read more
March 29, 2007Behind every Hasbro Butterscotch Robotic Pony and every NASA rover exploring Mars are teams of roboticists who've worked obsessively... read more