Friday, November 30, 2007

Flesh and Machines

I just finished reading Flesh and Machines: How Robots Will Change Us by Rodney A. Brooks, CTO of iRobot. After reading this, I now understand the behavior of my robot vacuum cleaner Roomba a bit better. I was pleased to see that the final chapter covered neuroprosthetics, something I had been studying recently, and the possibility of physical immortality in the future. He closes with "The distinction between us and robots is going to disappear."

I started reading this book a couple of years ago. I remember reading it while sitting in the waiting room as my wife Shannon was getting her checkup for her pregnancy with our son Abe. I picked it up to finish it today as I have decided to integrate robotics into my doctoral research. I bought a LEGO Mindstorms NXT robot and started playing with it. I hope to demonstrate robotic control using spiking neuronal networks (SNNs).