Making Robots Think
By Lee Gutkind
W. W. Norton & Company, Paperback, 9780393336849, 284pp.
Publication Date: August 1, 2009
In the High Bay at the Robotics Institute at Carnegie Mellon, Segways scoot across the floor chasing soccer balls while other robots hunt for treasure. Nursebots, developed to care for hospital patients, mingle with a robotic Lara Croft lookalike. Lee Gutkind immersed himself in this frenzied subculture and, in Almost Human, introduces us to Zoe, Groundhog, Grace, and Sandstorm robots designed to help, or in some cases replace, humans as well as to the colorful cast of researchers attempting to create language to talk not only to machines but also to one another across their disciplines.