• Question: Are there any robots you feel are pointless and we don't need??

    Asked by Lolly to Aisling, Cara, Dino, Graham, Patrick on 7 Mar 2018.
    • Photo: Patrick Lynch

      Patrick Lynch answered on 7 Mar 2018:

      It’s a tough question, I’m not sure. There is usually a lot of effort involved in developing a robot so obviously someone doesn’t think that that robot is pointless. There are robots like the sumo wrestling robots and the robots from robot wars which we certainly don’t need but they were always meant to be just for entertainment or for competition so they’re not really pointless. I do know of robots which I’ve helped to build in the past that have been so useless because they didn’t work and I suppose they were pointless and we certainly didn’t need them (I like to think I’ve become better at building robots since then). There are also robots which have very little functionality and are built purely to look as like a human as possible and I see little value in that, but a lot of people are putting a lot of money and effort into it so maybe they see a use in such a robot. I hope I answered your question.

    • Photo: Cara O'Brien

      Cara O'Brien answered on 7 Mar 2018:

      None that I can think of. I think most robots have a purpose, even if you don’t think it’s useful there’s usually people out there that have a real need for them, even if it’s just for entertainment.

    • Photo: Aisling Lee

      Aisling Lee answered on 7 Mar 2018:

      A good question Lolly. I think this is more a philosophical one than a technical one though.
      All robots are designed with a purpose. It may be to do a really difficult or complex task or just a silly toy to make you laugh. As a result no robot is pointless its just merely a case of if it has a use for you or not. That would be like me saying “I’m not interested in soccer so its pointless”. Soccer of course is not pointless and many people enjoy watching those athletes get out on the pitch and work hard.

      Plenty to ponder on the value of objects and material things in today’s society and that what I like to do with my projects. I always ask myself who does this benefit and why ? Its a great way to view the world and make sure your work has meaning.

    • Photo: Graham Cullen

      Graham Cullen answered on 9 Mar 2018:

      Most robots are designed to solve a particular problem or to provide entertainment as the other engineers have said, though there are some questionable machines out there:

      How about a robotic arm alarm clock that wakes you up by slapping you in the face with an artificial hand!