The Robots Are Coming — Aren’t They?


Editor’s note: Rob Daley is the CEO of 4moms, a robotics company that makes high-tech baby gear.

Rosie, C-3PO, HAL, WALL-E, Bender, Optimus, Asimo. We have envisioned building humanoid machines in our likeness with the ability to walk, talk and think like us — or better than us — since long before the creation of the microchip.

In 322 BC, Aristotle postulated that automatons created from garden statues might bring about the end of slavery. Two-year-olds are captivated by these mostly mythical creatures we call robots. From the time we are little kids, when we dream about the future, we dream about robots. It’s as simple as that.

But here’s the thing — humanoid robots are never going to happen. To understand why, you have to understand the shape of the technical problems and compare them to market forces.

First, the mechanics of the human body are spectacularly complex. Depending on your view…

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