We built them, and now we’re enabling them via a world wide web. This is it. We’re doomed with equal parts fear and awe.
It didn’t just happen overnight though. Cloud robotics system RoboEarth has been in the making for four years and will serve as a platform where robots can check in to share and learn from each other, much like how us meatbags currently use the internet to trade insults.
During the demonstration at Eindhoven University, four robots worked collaboratively with one using the system to upload a map of the mocked-up hospital room. The said map was used by the four robots to navigate and serve the patient a drink, amongst a list of other tasks we’re sure would lead to the end of mankind one day.
Giving the world wide web to robots means that machines will be able to learn new commands, even if they weren’t specifically programmed to do it from the start. It also means robots will become more efficient, requiring less onboard computing and battery power to prepare for that moment when the mechanical assistants hit the mainstream market in about ten years.
Ten years. That’s all the time we have to devise a contingency plan. We’re already eyeing our smart-home tech warily.