Robot spies live among us. At least, among the wildlife population. Without them, programs like Spy in the Wild would never be able to capture all of the wonderful footage we’ve acquired thus far. Animals can be easily spooked, which is why videographers are now deploying robots in their place. If these spies can look like them, act like them, and even sound like them, they’ll never expect things to be amiss.
As shown in the video provided below from Nature on PBS, the designs of our robot spies are so intricate that, when revealed what’s under the skin, you’d think you were stuck in the sci-fi universe of Westworld. Each one was devised by John Nolan at his small London studio, of which require months of work. Made up of nothing more than metal, electronics, and servos, once complete, their blood and bone counterparts can almost never tell the difference.
Which then raises an interesting question: are there robot spies among the human population as well? More than likely not, but that doesn’t mean we won’t have robots walking among us without us even realizing it. In fact, they could be here in only a couple decades time.
Five to ten years from now, we will witness increasing advancements throughout the robotics industry. While our nonhuman animal friends are easily tricked into believing their robot counterparts are no different from them, our fellow humanoid robots still have ways to go before they’re able to trick us. But in those 10-years-time, they could very well enter a new stage of aesthetic development that is perfectly indistinguishable from us humans.
Even then, they’ll still need a lot more development. Looking like a human being is one thing, but acting like one (let alone moving like one) is much more complicated. This will require years of research into the psychology and biology of us humans, of which will likely only be partially complete within those five to ten years.
“These “spycams” reveal animals as having emotions and behavior similar to humans: specifically, a capacity to love, grieve, deceive, and invent… These robotic, uncanny look-alikes infiltrate the natural world to film surprising behavior among wildlife from around the globe.”
Thirty to fifty years from now, robot “spies” will live among us – and this time, I do mean us humans. They’ll look like us, act like us, and when forced into conversation, they’ll even sound like us. Just as Ash from the hit sci-fi horror film Alien was able to trick his fellow crewmembers into believing he was human, robots of the future will achieve the same thing – only with far less nefarious motives (we hope).
In fact, there could very well be an increasing population of humans who’ve taken certain steps in becoming more like their robot counterparts than that of their own species. This will be the dawn of an advanced cyborg population. Part human, part robot – this population will push the very limits as to what it means to be human, all the while creating a much more symbiotic relationship between machinery and biology. By then, it might even be pointless in trying to differentiate humans from robots.