Robots at TED

Anyone that’s gotten to know me reasonably well is aware of my love of robots. There’s been a feast of stuff on TED recently on the topic—below are two standouts for me.

Raffaello D’Andrea: The astounding athletic power of quadcopters

I love the way they use the metaphor of athleticism to create some new ways of looking at how these robots work. Some really impressive work, esp. the adaptation to losing two working rotors!

Rodney Brooks: Why we will rely on robots

I’m not sure I’m totally sold on the idea of a heavily robotic supported future, but this is definitely food for thought.

Barry Schwartz on our loss of wisdom

Excellent TED talk I got to watch over the weekend on the “loss of wisdom” in society that, in part, led to the collapse of the economic system.

He begins by focusing on Barack Obama’s appeal to our sense of virtue, rather than material things nor our call to rely on and trust the state. A great talk – well worth the time to watch…

Oz in 30 seconds

GetUp have launched Oz in 30 seconds – subtitled “Political ads authorised by you”. It’s a competition to create a 30 second political ad:

This is a chance to show us your Australia by making a 30 second political ad, which we will air on national prime time television during the lead up to the federal election.

In 30 seconds, show us a slice of your vision: perhaps it’s a call to action on an issue close to your heart; or maybe an idea that brings us closer to the Australia you want to live in; or your take on a major policy or event, rather than the spin you’ve been fed.

The title of the comp suggests it’s inspired by MoveOn.org’s successful Bush in 30 seconds competition. Though GetUp have wisely chosen to not focus on one particular candidate.

So, if you’ve got a concept, get it up 🙂