6/27/2005

NextFest Robots

The wired magazine is a popular magazine that highlights new technology, gadgets and ideas in science. This years nextfest was sponsored by several major companies e.g GE, Northrup Grumman, Motorola, etc.
It was a sweltering friday in chicago with temps hovering around 90 degrees fahrenheit, so i was relieved when we entered the exhibition area at the Navy Pier. The first thing we saw was the speed bullet that is capable of land speeds of 315mph. We walked in and passed through a fog produced by a suspended bar, i thought it was a cooling system since it was so hot outside, till when i looked at the other end of the room and saw images of a movie that looked like a holographic image. That is when i turned around and saw that the mist i just passed through had images of interlocking pipes. To my left there was a long rectangular LCD screen and audio..."Welcome to the future".
The first part we went to was the xerox area where several people were waving as they had their picture taken. Free is free right? Got in queue and got my memento of a thermal image. I was expecting a digital picture, instead i got a thermal image that looked very cool. I needed to remind myself..."welcome to the future". Your expectations are about to be blown out the water.
There were so many interesting exhibits, to write about them would take up so much time, so i will hit on the highlights this week of the bits that i particularly enjoyed. First up..Robots.
Philip K Dick Android project is a lifelike android portrait of philip K Dick, the writer of stories like minority report & paycheck that have been made into popular movies. For more info on the android project please click here. We were ushered into a small room that had a couch and a coffee table with PKD propped up on the corner of the couch. See pics below. The exhibitor started by telling us about the project, but some of us were already wondering when we could talk to PKD. He typed on the laptop alittle and PKD's head started going from side to side. He looked like he was twitching. His eyelids open and shut, quite naturally i might add, save for the sound you could hear when he blinked. After the intro by the exhibitor, i got the chance to wear the headset and ask him a question. I was alittle quesy as his eyes were actually focused on me. I asked how old he was. " ___human years". The numbers were not audible. I heard about wired nextfest right around the time our dear first lady asked a certain gentleman as to the name of his mother, so i really wanted to ask PKD too. (You know you wanted me to!) So therefore i asked "Who is your mother?" "I do not understand your question" he said and his eyes started blinking, his head moving side to side.
PKD asked "and what is your name?" "____"i said. "Thank you for the information" PKD replied. I wondered if he was winking. I then passed the headset on to the next guy (after several quizzical looks from the exhibitor who was definitely wondering why the hell i was asking PKD who his mother was, aki! ). The guy i gave the headset to must have been wondering about the winking because he asked "are you flirting with ____?" "I dont know that i am, I am a robot..." said PKD. Apologies for not having audio, i will definitely carry my recorder next time.

2 Comments:

Anonymous mshairi said...

Goodness! PKD reminds of Data from Star Trek. How I would have loved to be there:)

7/04/2005 7:55 AM  
Blogger Afromusing said...

I was 'ngethiaing' the whole time, its incredible what that project has done so far. He could even tell stories.

7/04/2005 10:45 AM  

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