Plus: More Robots!
Here's how we get cool technology:
1. Little-nerd-kid watches a sci-fi movie and sees something he likes.
2. Little-nerd-kid becomes an engineer, makes a lot of money, and gets an important job
3. The no-longer-little nerd turns his fictional inspiration into reality.
This is basically what happened with the cell phone (communicator, Star Trek), tablet (Picard's weird slate, Star Trek: TNG) and the Pulse Rifle (Aliens, give those Army R&D guys some time). And now it's going to happen with another great sci-fi classic: the Terminator.
Enter Cyberdyne. Yes, they're a real company. And they have a full-body robotic suit named the HAL (because hey, we might as well reference <i>two<i> inhuman killing machines!) that measures nerve signals from the brain to the muscles and uses those to move the suit with you. The HAL actually moves along with you, rather than being pushed or forced by your muscles.
The current HAL brags about 2 hours, 40 minutes of battery life and will also make you as strong as a terrifying robotic monster. Slap some body armor on this thing and you've got 80% of a vigilante crime-fighter.
Cyberdyne will bring their suit to the CES 2011 show. It will be at the CES Robotics TechZone along with a ton of other robots. The PARO therapeutic baby harp seal is one example of high-end robot electronics that doesn't also foreshadow the Fall of Man. It can detect being petted or cuddled and can recognize it's name and some words. Which make this little guy a perfect pet for, say, seriously ill children who can't risk having their immune systems compromised.
The Tsukuba Center will also have something to display at CES. They're the folks who are working to make sure Cyberdyne's robot apocalypse never comes to fruition. The city of Tsukuba is one of the great robotics hubs of Japan. The Center has two missions. Create a set of robot safety standards and test mobile, autonomous robots on public roads.
Basically, the people of Tsukuba are risking their lives with the first generation of robo-commuters so we can have an increasingly convenient future. The city of Osaka, center of the Japanese robot industry, will also have their Chicago Office (?) in attendance with something to show.