Saffron's Space

This week in When Science Fiction Becomes Reality we’re talking about a new piece of technology which will mean great things for some, and unemployment for others.

The UBR-1 is an advanced robot which will soon be available for just $35,000. It’s extremely modifiable and extremely smart.

The robot is capable of adjusting its height and has a single arm which is capable of a huge range of movement. The hand ends with a grasper which can take hold of any number of objects.

The robot can be programmed to your specifications and even has an off switch to ‘prevent the robot apocalypse’ in case the robots should become self-aware.

I could go on about all its other awesome features but you can find them on the website:

UBR-1What I want to talk about is the future implications. I mean aside from the obvious; that supermarket shelf stackers will be ousted from their jobs to be replaced by a cheaper robot alternative. There are lots of other uses for such a robot.

The designers already talk about its capabilities to help disable or aged care people with every day tasks which people often take for granted, like bending down and picking up the TV remote.

But I want to take it even further. Let’s face it, the robot already has a microphone and speakers, so you could technically have a conversation with it with not too much trouble. Ok at this stage the robot is more of a ‘laborbot’ and doesn’t have a ‘personality’ per se, but surely that’s just a matter of time (otherwise, why would you have an apocalypse emergency switch?).

Even in its current form the robot is capable, with some programming of pretty much everything a robot has ever been imagined doing. This robot could do my bidding; ‘fetch me a drink’, ‘lay the table’, ‘massage my feet’. It could make automated deliveries.

In fact, this robot comes with space for extra attachments, so screw on a phaser and BAM you’ve got a robot security guard right there.

So yes, as always with technology there will be some loss of jobs, on the other hand the robot repair industry is about to see a boom. Despite that, I’m super excited to see this technology reach the market and maybe one day when I have $35,000 I’ll get one.

What would you do if you had the UBR-1?

If this robot had the ability to hover it could almost be as cool as CAL, the robot from my up and coming sci-fi series which you can get a sneak-peak of here.

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