As part of a $500 million package designed to combine the resources of the government, educational institutions and the US manufacturing sector to boost "critical enabler" technologies like nanotechnology, getting new high-tech products to market more quickly & competitively, President Obama recently announced a new $70 million National Robotics Initiative. "You might not know this, but one of my responsibilities as commander-in-chief is to keep an eye on robots," he noted in a speech at Carnegie Mellon University's National Robotics Engineering Center. "And I'm pleased to report that the robots you manufacture here seem peaceful. At least for now."
And, for some, there is more at stake than just the futuristic science. "Investing in robotics is more than just money for research and development, it is a vehicle to transform American lives and revitalize the American economy," adds Helen Greiner, president of the Robotics Technology Consortium. "Indeed, we are at a critical juncture where we are seeing robotics transition from the laboratory to generate new businesses, create jobs and confront the important challenges facing our nation."
However, the important question remains: when everything goes truly Space Age & high-tech, what will be considered high style? Although many a vintage 60s comic book and TV show portrayed both sexes in sexless Star Trek'y tunics and androgenous performance-wear, we think that fashion will probably go the route of architecture. Compare a really old city like Istanbul or Jerusalem with one that is much newer. While all the neighborhoods in the newer city look fairly alike, in an ancient city, each neighborhood is different and distinct, and the various neighborhoods combine to create a varied and textural urban mosaic bursting with individual expression.
Similarly, the more our environment becomes industrialized and homogeneous, the more people will wanna express their individuality and not look like clothing clones (fashion-obsessed girlie-girls in particular). The best part of having a robot to take care of the drudgery and to do your bidding? You have the time to wear a playsuit for actual play, and the luxury of rocking limousine shoes 24/7 - like these towering YSL metallic "Tribtoo" beauties!
- Lesley Scott