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Remember Star Wars’ C-3PO, the droid programmed for etiquette and protocol, built by the heroic Jedi Anakin Skywalker? Remember how he walked, mechanically. Take a look at the YouTube video at the top of this story and watch how Georgia Tech’s DURUS robot strolls on his size 13 arched, spring-loaded metal feet. The engineers started with a flat-footed walking robot and moved up to one with a natural gait. Their next goal is to build a robot which climbs stairs and can run. Perhaps the step after that is robots which can dance like a ballerina.

Robots are getting more and more like humans in how they walk, talk, look, and act. At the same time, we are getting more like robots. Consider the number of non-biological things in our bodies: pacemakers, artificial joints, cochlear ear implants, and many more types to come. Some visionaries believe it won’t be many years before it will be difficult to differentiate between biological and non-biological beings. There is much controversy over this. I am thinking about a new book, Robot Attitude, for which I would do a lot more research on the subject. You can read more about the role of robots in surgery and home healthcare in Health Attitude.

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