HOW FUTURAMA GETS SCIENCE RIGHT (SORT OF):
Like any science fiction series that explores the distant future, “Futurama” is populated with a wide range of robots with humanoid feelings, emotions and even gender. Although the robots portrayed in “Futurama” are considerably more complex than any model available today, engineers are making strides into making robots more like us.
Let’s start with robots with emotions. Scientists at the University of Hertfordshire have already built robots that can learn, recognize and react to basic emotional cues, such as happiness, sadness, fear and pride. Engineering students from Tsukuba University have also created a robot that appears like and mimics the behavior of a human infant intended to teach expecting parents.
When it comes to feelings, engineers have created a robot for dental students that “feels” pain. Some robots are also trained to learn our pain threshold to prevent the possibility of injury between human-robot interactions.
As far as robots with sexuality, especially creative (and somewhat perverted) engineers have created Roxxxy, a life-size machine with feminine features, speech recognition, artificial intelligence and a selection of prerecorded phrases. The future really is here after all.
We are still, however, years away from creating drinking, smoking, narcissistic robots. :(
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