So I recently stumbled upon a kickstarter that not only grabbed my attention but produced all kinds of fanciful thoughts to enter my mind. We typically write about media, but what happens when we head into a future where everything is happening without our direct physical input and our thoughts are causing things to be set into motion. Well it appears to be happening. Dobot is a robotic (jobs in robotics) arm designed for everyday use which can be controlled by a computer, mobile app, gesture input (Haptics), and even brain waves (EEG). “One of our founder’s expertise was in biosensors, and thought it’d be cool to control a robot with concentration” said CEO Jerry Liu, “It was not hard to implement.”
I am sorry but did you just read that quote?
In the summer of 2014, Liu formed Dobot with the help of his team, five other Shandong University graduates who wanted to build a cheap, precise robotics arm that could be used by hobbyists, educators, and industry alike. All the members being formerly employed at industrial and medical robotics companies spent the last year building their first model ready prototype Dobot, but to be clear the makers would not settle for anything less than premium accuracy and construction.
So they basically put up all the development cash from their own pockets and then got $150,000 in seed money to get a solid prototype made. On September 15 they put up a kickstarter to raise $36,000, well as of right now as I type these words, they have accumulated $405,294 with 11 days to go. By the time you read this article the kickstarter should be over so go see what the final number was. So why do you think this has taken off, I’ll tell you why, people hate doing the boring stuff, automation is king, plain and simple. Also you just can’t get that level of consistent precision with the human hand. I mean come on, how steady can you hold a laser beam? Oh yeah and its open sourced and infinitely customizable.
If you watch all the videos on the company website, you are going to be floored. But here’s where it really threw me for a loop. There is a video scene where a young woman is wearing a headset and is controlling the device with her mental concentration. Now that is it! This is the culmination of our technology, industrialized mental manipulation of the physical external world, everything interacting with everything via as they like to say the internet of things or the Digital Noosphere. Daqri is another company already taking advantage of a digital mental interface, read article here.
Can you imagine every school having mind-controlled robots for learning robotics and developing manufacturing and programming techniques? In 10 years I see a suburban back yard event being set up and organized by extendable robotic manipulator arms all from mental commands by a mother who is busy in the kitchen personalizing the cupcakes for her daughter’s 8th birthday party. What about when you walk past a street sensor and it registers discomfort in your ankle and you get a mental notification from CVS that a drone 75 feet above you can deliver an Ibuprofen in 15.7 seconds? Honestly it’s not like Near Field Communication isn’t already revolutionizing the way advertisers interact with your smart phones, mind reading devices could take this to whole new levels that advertisers haven’t even begun to think about.
Advertisers will be able to interact with your mind directly and based on your genuine need provide services. Imagine interfacing with every machine everywhere with a thought. I envision seeing Dobots and much more, doing what we want and exchanging ideas about how we do them as the new norm.