Pointless Automation?

When the movie Her — a film in which a guy falls in love with an operating system, only to discover that he was not a beloved as much as an early adopter — came out, some engineers and computer scientists were horrified by the implied waste of good technology.

The tech we see in the movie, they thought, could have been used for healthcare and important research instead of being squandered on mere emotional entanglements.

You might feel that way about the robot dancers in this commercial. Perfectly good servo motors are clearly being misused for human entertainment.

In fact, it isn’t machinery being used here, nor technology. It’s human efforts, creativity, and resources. We humans always do things like this. We figure out some new tech, like pencils, which could be well employed doing things like keeping track of the number of sheep we have or writing out prescriptions for life-saving medications, and then we use it to draw pictures or write love notes.

Human beings need to waste time — or, to put it another way, to be creative. Servo motors are used for many creative endeavors, as well as to make juice boxes and cars. They don’t mind, and we humans need it.

If you’re using Indramat motion control, whether to cause robots to dance or to perform some more obviously useful function, we can help you keep your machinery running smoothly.

As for Her, that OS clearly had a bug. The guy should get his money back.

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