Robots...Droids C-3PO and R2-D2 are not merely movie stars: they've been inducted into the real-life Robot Hall of Fame at Carnegie Mellon University. They're also, for trivia buffs, the only characters to appear in (and survive until the end of) all six Star Wars movies.
It's true that the droids show more intelligence, problem-solving skills and verbal ability than anything that we can design in the near future. Even the task of building a walking robot is hardly trivial: After years of research, a Brussels university has finally created a bipedal robot, named Lucy, that can walk on a treadmill.
On the other hand, it's bizarre to imagine that a civilization so advanced it can repel gravity and fly through hyperspace would have built such primitive devices. C-3PO clanks while walking and communicates with R2-D2 through talking. What, no 802.11? Real robots will wirelessly, silently, and at speeds difficult for current human brains to envision. They'll be closer to the athletic marvels of and able to best real humans at physical tasks. But, then again, that wouldn't make as compelling a movie.
May 25, 2007 8:00 AM PDT
Photo by: Hasbro
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