Do you ever think “Why? Why on earth did they bother?”
I do, sometimes. And something I read last week had me shaking me head and muttering “Why oh why”.
You see, I keep up with a lot of the latest developments in technology. Partly because I find it interesting and partly because, well, I need to know what’s going on to pick out what’s important to tell you about.
And last Friday I read about a new robot arm that’s been developed. It’s not a robot arm for people who’ve lost an arm and it’s not a robot arm that’s used in a factory or to construct things in dangerous places.
No, it’s a robot arm to feed you.
Literally – you strap it on around your body so it sticks out from your chest and then sit or stand in front of a table with food on plates.
Then the robot arm will pick up food from the plates and lift it up to your mouth.
It can’t put it in your mouth “for safety reasons” – it stops 5 or 6 inches away and you have to move your head to bite it off the robot hand.
That’s not all. It has a camera and looks at the faces of the people around it. When it picks up some food, it will only feed it to people who are smiling – assuming that’s because they like that food.
If you frown it won’t feed it to you (but might feed it to the person next to you if they’re smiling) and if you are in between it’ll just wait a while and see.
Not much good for me if I happen to be smiling at someone’s joke when it picks up some celery (which I hate).
But as I said at the start: “Why?”
I wondered if the idea was for people who can’t feed themselves for whatever reason – but no, that wasn’t what they were aiming for at all. In fact you still need to be able to move to take the food from the robot arm.
No, the point of it is that it’s supposed to make eating more “social”. The people who developed and tested it talk about it being more enjoyable to eat this way because it makes you interact with the other people rather than sitting looking at your mobile phone.
In fact they actually call it a “Social Augmented Dining System”
I suppose it could make a meal more social – you might be falling around laughing at the daftness of it. But I don’t think it’s the kind of thing you’d want to do regularly
Anyway, I suppose it might have helped them develop the technology a little – but I’m not sure there’s going to be a revolution in how we all eat… or that it’ll make meals more “social”.
Tempus fugit … and what’s in the course…
I can’t believe it sometimes, how fast time goes. I still can’t quite believe that Alastair is eight and a half… and getting close to thinking about secondary school.
And I can’t quite believe that it’s nearly the end of the month – but it is.
If you remember, the Windows 10 course I recently brought out is only available to enroll in until the end of this month. When I first launched it, a month seemed like a long time… but it’s nearly over.
So if you are interested, you have until the end of the week – then we close enrolment. (If you’ve already joined then you will still have access of course – we only close enrolment to new people.)
Several people have also asked for a bit more detail about exactly what’s covered – well, here’s what the different parts of the course are:
- Part 1 – Introducing Windows 10
- Part 2 – Basic Skills
- Part 3 – Browsing the Web Using “Microsoft Edge”
- Part 4 – Email and the Mail App
- Part 5 – Some Fancier Windows Features
- Part 6 – Windows Apps
- Part 7 – Settings in Windows 10
(If you want to know exactly what topics are in each part, you can read that here)
Anyway, if you want to read more about the course you can find out about how it works, who it’s suitable for and so on here… and that’s where you can sign up to it if you want to. Don’t forget, at 5pm (UK time) on Friday, we’ll take down the “sign-up page” so if you’re interested best do it now.