Older blog entries for NeonElf (starting at number 1)

23 May 2005 (updated 24 May 2005 at 05:18 UTC) »

So, here's the deep thought of the day: How can we build a simple system that losses it's determancy and enters the realm of chaos? It seems to me that genetics is one of those systems. It appears simple, perhaps I don't understand it well enough to make the statement, but DNA is the map, chemicals and protiens control cellular growth and development. I dunno, I guess it's not that simple a system. What I mean is how do we build a system with simple RULES that creates complexity: the phenomenon know as "emergence." I'd like to create a sysem like that sometime.

I was reading something on molecular biology about how DNA creates protiens and the protiens can attach back to the DNA and inhibit the creation of other protiens. Got me thinking about self modifing systems.

.... hrm ... what's my point you're wondering. This is a journal I don't have a point.

Robot is such a broad term. I ponder the definition. The first definition in a dictionary states robots "sometimes resemble a human" although the second definition does not. The third entry actually refers to a type of person! I agree that it's hard to nail down but perhaps we should try and hack out some new terms.

I have a strong belief that robots must be capable of some kind of motion. A robotic assembly arm at a manufacturing plant, though it can not change it's origin, it is capable of swinging it's hand to and fro and arriving at some point specified. To me a "robot" that doesn't move is a computer, or if simple enough a sensor.

I submit for thought: SAR (Sound Activated Robot)*. At first I thought this didn't qualify as a robot, but when I looked up the definition, I realized it is so lax that it technically does. But then by that definition so could a computer. This lead me to question the difference between a computer and robot.

We all know what computers are (I hope) although the lines are blurring there as well. Computers, and PDAs (ex: palm pilot), cell phones with operating systems. But what's the difference between a computer that controls a factory machine (let's say a cookie making factory that has a computer controlled conveyor and stamping system), and a robot?

I guess this is an old discussion, much like what qualifies as life but there must be something more definitive people can agree on. More definitive than a definition that includes the word "sometimes", anyway.

I sincerely believe that mobility is at least one major point of defining a robot. I'll have to think some more on it to decide what else differentiates a robot from a computer.

- * Please Steven Frye don't be offended. I know that is probably the begining of a robot but I just use it as an example. No harm intended. I have to laugh anyway becuase it's more than I've ever made!

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