Questions tagged [robots]

For questions about machines (esp. programmable machines) capable of carrying out complex tasks.

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89
votes
17answers
16k views

Would a robot really need to use a heads up display (HUD)?

It's a common staple of science-fiction films (e.g The Terminator or Robocop) to have a POV shot from a robot or cyborg's perspective with a HUD being used to observe its surroundings. This can be ...
75
votes
41answers
19k views

What is the fastest way for a robot with superhuman capabilities to make money?

An alien robot comes to Earth and determines that part of his plan here involves geting set up with a lot of cash in as short a time span as possible. He has a number of physical and mental attributes ...
74
votes
31answers
21k views

Is there any job that can't be automated? [closed]

Assuming advancing AI and computing according to Moore's Law for the next two to three decades, are there any kinds of jobs that can't be automated? If not, why not? Please refer to specific ...
71
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26answers
12k views

Why should humans risk a robot apocalypse by modifying Asimov's laws?

I recently read the following xkcd strip: I was dismayed, because I've been working on a short story centered on the sociological impacts of a near-future society where a minority of robots obey a ...
69
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27answers
9k views

Can humans interact meaningfully with the economy when robots are better at everything?

The year is 3030, and robots have finally become better than humans at everything. Not just standard tasks we would think of a robot being good at, but everything. Manual labor. Math. Robot design. ...
65
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17answers
14k views

Is there any plausible reason for a robot's eyes to glow?

Many sci-fi machines and robots have glowing eyes, though there's no apparent reason why any such thing should be the case. One possible example is something like a cat's eye, where light is ...
59
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20answers
13k views

Why would anyone build robots when they have human rights?

I have read (and answered) the question: "If true artificially intelligent robots could be built, would they be allowed human rights?". But let's explore the topic from the other direction. Let's ...
56
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19answers
17k views

Military Tank drone, why are they not common yet?

I was wondering--why are there no self driving tanks in the US army? They seem much easier to build than a flying drone. Most of the space within the tank is wasted on instruments/cabin space for ...
50
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16answers
7k views

Could red lights be eliminated if all vehicles were automated? [duplicate]

At a typical intersection that uses red lights to control traffic, vehicles traveling on one roadway have a green light and can travel through the intersection, often at full speed, while vehicles ...
47
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28answers
10k views

How do I explain that an interstellar spaceship still requires risky spacewalks?

It is the mid 22nd century A.D. Twenty men and women signed on a ten year space exploration trip to the nearest star system. There are robots to do ship maintenance and a powerful A.I. to monitor the ...
46
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28answers
7k views

Why would The Machines not hunt humanity?

The Slow War is almost over. The Machines appeared almost twenty years ago, and since then we've all but lost humanity without them firing a single shot. Instead they won through brute industrial ...
44
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14answers
6k views

Society expectations to Work for your living

Many people set who they are and others by what jobs they do, how they make their living. As more and more jobs are being taken over by computers and robots there are 'fewer' jobs for others. Yet we ...
38
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11answers
10k views

Can a space-faring robot still function over a billion years?

This short story, which I've already written, is set in the FAR, FAR FUTURE, where a robotic space probe is exploring as much of the known universe as it can, despite its AI not knowing if its ...
32
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20answers
7k views

In a post-apocalyptic future planet where robots are the only sentient life... why would they use wild-west and WW2-era tech?

Context: The setting is a future where the planet is pretty much a giant city and due to reasons has become a post-apocalyptic landscape. Humans are long dead and the only sentient life left are the ...
31
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16answers
6k views

Why would robots use verbal communication?

Robots (intelligent machines using some form of artificial intelligence), are central to the plot in a snippet I'm working on. These robots do not have to interact with humans on a regular basis: ...
30
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15answers
6k views

If future farming is largely automated by robots, what produce would still require human farmers?

In a story set in the near future where robots perform the majority of farming (due to population growth and agribusiness efficiencies), what might still be farmed by humans? Assume no radical AI ...
29
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9answers
4k views

Could someone be convinced they are a robot?

My story takes place in a near-future where robots have gotten so realistic it is impossible to tell them apart visually from humans. Hyperreal human robots are the latest fad, where the robot has its ...
27
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17answers
9k views

How does a self-cleaning kitchen put away the dishes?

The year: Sometime between 2025 and 2045. The place: A new high-end subdivision (or custom home showroom) near you. The sales pitch: This home is great for entertaining. It has a complete ...
27
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21answers
7k views

Why would an AI overlord want to give their robot citizens emotion?

In my world, a hyper-intelligent AI has struck out on their own to form a perfect, mechanized empire, populated by loyal robot citizens, devoted to the overlord as a child would be devoted to their ...
27
votes
8answers
5k views

How to Convince Humans to Allow a Machine Take-Over

In a lot of stories there are fights between man and machine; rogue AI that has decided humans are inferior in some respect and chooses to wipe them out. What if the only chance for any remnant of ...
25
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14answers
9k views

Can programming "mutate"?

Can the programming of simple nanobots randomly change to create a similar effect as mutations in DNA? This question has a very similar idea as I wanted, although in this case the nanobots are capable ...
24
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23answers
4k views

Why would robots settle at a river?

In this settings, robots are a humanoid looking personal device that try to mimic the owners traits and behavior, even though they 'realize' they are not their owner, but rather a helping robot. The ...
23
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28answers
8k views

Why would advanced alien warships have living crews rather than be drones?

There's a major interstellar war going on. Both parties are highly technologically advanced and have thousands of warships of sizes varying between 10 meters long and 1 km long. For both parties: ...
21
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35answers
9k views

Why would an army train living soldiers when manufacturing robots is easier

Taking place in a sci-fi universe during a massive conflict. In this universe, however, robots are a major industry, so it would make sense that the government would specially create robots for this ...
20
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14answers
10k views

Can a robotic army really defeat humanity?

A common sight, made famous by the Terminator franchise, is the robotic apocalypse. It's usually said that due to their lack of organs and ability to use radiation and biological warfare without a ...
19
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10answers
4k views

Why would a country employ a robotic police force?

A common sight in science fiction is a police robot force. But as most people know, robots (even small basic ones) are expensive, which raises the question: why would they bother? Let's assume that ...
19
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9answers
3k views

Can a 3-laws compliant robot create a non-3-law compliant robot? [closed]

It seems to me that Asimov's three laws of robotics tell a robot what it is not allowed to do, but does very little to limit what it can do outside of the limits established by those rules. If we ...
18
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10answers
5k views

How would fembots change society? [closed]

The next year fembots came to the market by the price of 3000 US dollars. These androids have realistic synthetic skin and genitalia, semi-autonomous intelligence, are able to clean the house, cook ...
18
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23answers
5k views

Can we expect machines as extraterrestrial forms of life?

Usually, forms of life are associated with organisms like humans, plants and animals. The probability that such can evolve in an environment is very low due to the many constraints that have to be ...
18
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13answers
5k views

Robo-grunts in the army: viable?

Around 100 years from now society has entered a multi planetary society, with mines in space bringing in resources to Earth in abundance. Utilizing this new material wealth, Earth Nations start to, ...
18
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6answers
4k views

Is there a military benefit to humanoid combat robots?

There have been questions of the validity of combat mechs and the shape of police robots before, but the general consensus is that the main reason for a mech to be humanoid is to appear less ...
17
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19answers
7k views

Quantum Based AI getting around Isaac Asimov's "Three Laws of Robotics"

I am building a story where there is a rogue AI. However, that AI was under the governance of Isaac Asimov's Three Laws of Robotics: A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, ...
17
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15answers
4k views

How would a robot make noise and speak without built in speakers?

A common trope with technologically advanced races is the lack of a need for speech. Machine races that self optimise usually forgo spoken languages all together, instead opting for completely ...
16
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17answers
5k views

How can my powered armor quickly replace its ceramic plates?

Though ceramic plates are harder than a math exam, and can practically obliterate projectiles, they are one-hit wonders. Self-repairing has been demonstrated for a composite of silicon carbide and ...
16
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20answers
5k views

How could simple but cheap robots be used in combat?

How could simple but cheap robots be used in combat? These robots are capable of more than what we can do today but are still very simple compared to a lot of sci-fi. They can move across rough ...
16
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14answers
5k views

What problems would arise for the human species making itself into robots

In modern day society, few or many people have been fascinated with integrating robotic parts to their bodies. But sometimes that idea is taken to the next step, in which people want to have their ...
15
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6answers
3k views

Could a robotic exoskeleton give humans Earth like movements on a high gravity planet?

Logically a born and raised on a planet with Earth-like gravity would move slower on a high gravity planet, and would be both faster, and possibly clumsier in low gravity. In my world humanity has ...
14
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11answers
4k views

If every cell in a creature's body were replaced by a functionally identical nanobot, would the creature retain its consciousness? [closed]

If every cell in a creature's body were replaced (as in Theseus's Ship), would the creature still have its consciousness? E.g. a white blood cell would be destroyed and replaced by a nanobot that ...
14
votes
14answers
4k views

Can robots in any case learn and adapt human emotions?

Robots are just an advance programmed devices which does the task which are ordered to them via codes. Is it even possible for a highly advance robot to interpret and learn human emotions? Update: ...
13
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11answers
3k views

Keeping the horde of nanomachines at bay?

So, there are three major powers in the setting that can be reasoned with, and a fourth that is just there to destroy. I have a problem with balancing them. The so-called nature spirits are creatures ...
13
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9answers
3k views

How does a robot keep its own joints clean?

Robots in fiction, autonomous or self-aware, need ways to operate in mundane conditions otherwise they will eventually (without upkeep) fall to pieces. This includes events where one gets splashed ...
12
votes
13answers
4k views

Why would a flourishing city need so many outdated robots?

Near future, Boston, United States of America. This city brands itself as the leader in both medicine and quantum computing. The city looks awfully youthful and energetic; after all, they cured old ...
12
votes
9answers
3k views

Robots with (specifically red) blood

So I want robot enemies in my series, but I also want gore without killing living creatures (related to this, because the opponent is the same, the gr8 computer) So basically the robots I talking ...
12
votes
8answers
2k views

How does a robot distinguish different metals and materials for self repair?

This plot point has been bothering me for ages: how do robots distinguish between metals? Many robots in fiction just pick up parts of machinery for self-repair or to make more robots. They don't seem ...
12
votes
8answers
2k views

Which US defense organization would respond to an invasion like this?

I'm at a critical point in a sci-fi novel where a couple of thousand Superintelligent artificial intelligences end up going haywire. Naturally, they're extremely intelligent, and thus, much harder to ...
11
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6answers
2k views

Why would an artificial planet inhabited by machines have seasons? [closed]

A super advanced civilization has created a machine with superior A.I. that could survive a supernova explosion from a nearby star approximately 3,600 parsecs from the Sun, the machine is programmed ...
11
votes
11answers
3k views

Hammers or Swords? Most effective weapon for mech melee combat

On a future battlefield where mechs are somehow the most preferred weapon system (over the far more practical tank format), what kind of melee weapon is most effective? From human warfare, we see the ...
11
votes
6answers
750 views

Can my synthetic human grow?

I'm an advanced AI in far futuristic sci-fi setting. To give you the size of how advanced we are, I'll just drop here a short list of our accomplishments: We have discovered cold fission-reactors ...
11
votes
4answers
761 views

Design me a Mars drone

In this question about a Mars battle set up in 2100-ish, we decided, that the best battle devices would be drones. In that setup the whole "drone" thing was hand-waved, but I would like to know if it ...
10
votes
6answers
3k views

If true artificially intelligent robots could be built, would they be allowed human rights? [closed]

Let's imagine that by the year 2040, humanity has developed true, 100% artificial intelligence. That is, a robot that is physiologically identical to the average human. For X reason, humanity has ...

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