IEEE Spectrum asked pioneering roboticist Rodney Brooks, co-founder of iRobot and former head of MIT's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, the eternal engineering question: "What is a robot?" Inspired by computational neuroscientist Warren McCulloch who enjoyed writing sonnets, Brooks responded to the query in iambic pentameter. Here's the beginning:
What Is a Robot?
By Rodney Brooks
Shall I compare thee to creatures of God?
Thou art more simple and yet more remote.
You move about, but still today, a clod,
You sense and act but don’t see or emote.
You make fast maps with laser light all spread,
Then compare shapes to object libraries,
And quickly plan a path, to move ahead,
Then roll and touch and grasp so clumsily.
Read the rest: "What Is a Robot? Rodney Brooks Offers an Answer—in Sonnet Form" (IEEE Spectrum)
image: Brooks led development of the COG robot seen in this photo by Rama (CC BY-SA 3.0 FR)
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