John M. Jordan

Robotics is becoming more commonplace. Governments have adopted technology to the extent of mass commercialization, most notably through the deployment of drones (see, for instance, Roomba). The public is embracing these technologies in the meanwhile, with popular culture imaginations serving as their primary sources of information regarding robots. Our knowledge of Atlas, Motoman, Kiva, and Beam, actual robots that are redefining collaboration, the industrial workplace, and combat, is significantly less than that of C-3PO and Robocop. John Jordan, a technology analyst, provides a clear and entertaining introduction to robots and robotics in this book. He discusses cutting-edge uses, potential economic impacts, and cultural background.

Jordan details the origins of robots as well as how they have been portrayed in science fiction literature, film, and television, from Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein to Isaac Asimov’s I, Robot (in which Asimov popularized the term “robotics”). He provides a walkthrough of contemporary robotics, outlining its fundamental elements, the complication issues that make it so difficult, and applications like autonomous automobiles, unmanned warfare, and robots on the manufacturing line.

Roboticists draw on scientific disciplines like artificial intelligence, materials science, and power management. Jordan argues that decisions made while designing robots also incorporate non-technical components, including moral judgments, career aspirations, and ethical presumptions. These decisions also pose issues with regard to morality, law, economics, education, public safety, and human identity. Robots won’t be our servants or masters; instead, they’re quickly developing into intimate allies who collaborate with us, whether in a workplace, on a roadway, or as a prosthetic device. Jordan claims that given these significant adjustments to human work and living, robotics is too vital to be left to roboticists alone.