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"Any robot could rebel, from a toaster to a Terminator, and so it is crucial to learn the strengths and weaknesses of every robot enemy," author Daniel H. Wilson warns in "How to Survive a Robot Uprising: Tips on Defending Yourself Against the Coming Rebellion."
This book may well be packed full of fictional ways of dealing with fictional rebelling robots, but this book is not pseudo-science. Written by an actual roboticist, Wilson is a graduate of Carnegie Mellon University's Robotics Institute.
In fact, whilst the situations are fake, the science behind the book is very real, as the excerpt below shows:
A robot trying to find you will use thermal imaging based on the roughly 91-degree temperature of human skin, so smearing yourself in cool mud will confuse them.
If being chased by an unmanned robot vehicle, flee to a rustic, unmapped area with lots of obstacles.
If your robot "smart" house -- one wired with video surveillance and computer gear -- tries to trap you, chop your way out with an ax and don't take your cell phone, because the house will track you with it.
In fact the book is a piece of serious scientific study. Whilst providing 173 pages of humourous reading, it simultaneously teaches you subliminally about the current state of robotics research ? everything in the book short of rebelling is stuff robots can actually already do.
Far from being meant to provoke fear of robots, the book is intended to teach, educate and inform. It is not about a robot revolution really, but demonstrating what we can do with them ? and making readers laugh whilst it does so.
"I've been trying to be very careful and make sure everybody gets it," Wilson has said.
"If I do want one of those research jobs, I can't afford to be associated with pseudo-science. I wrote this as a joke, a comedy, but it's a vehicle for teaching people about robots. It's a fun book, it's not real. Yet."
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