As the future steadily becomes the present, we often find ourselves disappointed with how little our world resembles … The Jetsons. No flying cars, no 3-D printed meals. And today’s hoverboards? They don’t even hover! But if you’ve spent any time on the Cal campus lately, you’ve likely crossed paths with a KiwiBot, one of 150 fox terrier–sized robots that autonomously navigate the winding paths and hordes of hustling students. The bots are on their quest to deliver lunch. And though a KiwiBot is no Rosey (the Jetsons’ sassy robo-maid), it does have a certain charm.
It was a half a century ago this year that Berkeley High grad and Cal drop-out Philip K. Dick’s Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? hit the shelves. Set in 2021, the story follows the systematic annihilation of renegade androids in a post-apocalyptic, nuclear-ravaged San Francisco. (In short: man made robot, robot outsmarted man, man crushed robot.) Though a work of fiction, the novel is revered to this day for its astute insights on the future of man and machine—perhaps because so much of the story has, in some form or another, become reality.
Posted on December 17, 2018 - 3:22pm
After much speculation and bated breath, two-time UC Berkeley alumnus Barry C. Barish (BA ‘57, PhD ‘62) has been awarded this year’s Nobel Prize for Physics.
Barish shares the prize with fellow Caltech physicist Kip Thorne and MIT physicist Rainer Weiss. The trio earned the recognition for their groundbreaking detection of gravitational waves—ripples in the fabric of space that spread through the universe.
Posted on October 5, 2017 - 4:22pm
Long before Lassie fished Timmy out of a well, dogs have been heroically bailing us humans out of sticky situations. In the post 9/11 era that’s never been truer, with bomb-sniffing dogs scouring our airports and cities for deadly explosives.
So it’s a shame to say that man’s best friend may be out of a job.
Posted on July 22, 2014 - 5:14pm