Last night, our youngest was putting the finishing touches on his latest Minecraft creation. We have a home-grown Minecraft server running on an iMac in the house which permits all of the kids to connect to the same Minecraft instance, wherever they are.
My wife commented that if Minecraft was the real world, the kids would have built a tunnel to China by now. I replied that in a few years, with 3D printing (in the scale of houses) and remote operation of vehicles (like military UAVs and the Curiosity Rover), it’s entirely possible that by shipping a couple of robots (a 3D printer and a “lifter”), you could have entire towns built by the time humans were ready to occupy them. And it is remote operation skills (like the skills used by kids operating Minecraft) that would create it.
And, if you wanted to keep your feet on the ground, why isn’t this house building duo already in operation in areas hit by quakes or other natural disasters?
Video-game enthusiasts are not typically associated with tests of gruelling physical endurance or demonstrations of strength. But in an age where digital technology rules all, are gamers the new form of athletes?
— Wee Man Studios Ltd (@WeeManStudios) August 28, 2012
I don’t share the scepticism of @WeeManStudios.
Movies like Real Steel (and the old comic series …) highlighted the possibilities for current athletics being performed by robot counterparts. But I think actual video games could present an interesting alternative for athletic achievement.
For gamers of a certain vintage, Capturing the Flag in Hall of the Giants will always bring back a rush of nostalgia-induced adrenaline.
In 2010, it was reported that a British pensioner yesterday became the world’s first patient to have heart surgery using a fully remote-controlled robotic arm. It was done remotely due to radiation levels during the surgery but there is no reason this could not be performed for routine operations.
It’s well known that the Us Air Force already uses Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) piloted by remote operators. And they intend to triple the number of UAV pilots by the end of 2012 even though the perception of the UAV pilot among real pilots is poor.