Around oomlout HQ we have many loves, and its safe to say that both "fun" and "robots" count among these. So when Make magazine asked for our thoughts on where the future of robots was headed we were only too happy to toss our two cents into the ring.
Our thoughts on the future of robotics...
The Oomlout Team (makers of open source robot and microcontroller kits)
The coolest thing in robotics right now is fun!. It sounds hokey, but for the first time, the mechanics, electronics, and programming tools required to make really amazing robots are available to just about anyone. No longer are robots forced to live out their days mindlessly assembling cars on factory floors or sliavishly performing demos in university labs. Robots are moving onto our walls, our floors and countertops, and our balconies. They're making pretty pictures, entertaining us at parties, even twittering the "mood" of the tomato plant on our porch.
Are they doing these things because they are necessary? No. they're being put to these ends mainly in the interest of fun and exploration. We believe that from this atmosphere of frivolity, the serious robotic future we've long been promised will finally take shape.
We were a bit awed by the robotic elite we were featured beside, from our favourite, the creator of some of the funnest and most emotionally evocative robots we've ever seen (I-Wei Huang of Crabfu Steamworks). To the big players in the industry (Mark Tilden of WowWee, Matt Trossen of Trossen Robotics, Ken Gracey of Parallax, and Dave Hrynkiw of Solarbotics). Admitedly robot development around oomlout has slowed of late, but we have several projects in development which we think will show that our place within this crowd is warranted (and show that fun and robotics go hand in hand).