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War of the Worlds: Goliath Trailer

Curious as to progress being made on the production of the animated War of the Worlds-inspired steampunk sequel War of the Worlds: Goliath (directed by Joe Pearson), I looked around and discovered the trailer. A lot of people have seen it already, but here it is anyway.

Beautiful artwork and animation. Hopefully the screenplay will be as good. It’s currently scheduled for a 2011 release.

War of the Worlds: Goliath last featured on Robot War Espresso here.

Robots of Deception

No doubt this is how we end up creating a race of Decepticons.

The evolution of robots toward the acquisition of fundamental human qualities has begun. Forget all that artificial intelligence stuff; the true test of humanity is the ability to lie.

A group of computer scientists at the Geor­gia In­sti­tute of Tech­nol­o­gy are teaching their robots to be deliberately deceptive — at this stage by playing hide-and-seek. Isn’t that what Transformers do?

In the words of Professor Ronald Arkin, the researchers are developing algorithms that “al­low a ro­bot to de­ter­mine wheth­er it should de­ceive a hu­man or oth­er in­tel­li­gent ma­chine” and “help the ro­bot se­lect the best de­cep­tive strat­e­gy to re­duce its chance of be­ing discov­ered.” There are obvious military advantages for a surveillance droid to have this ability, as deceptive robots on the bat­tle­field would be able to suc­cess­fully hide and mis­lead the en­e­my by sending out false tracking information in order to keep them­selves and whatever in­forma­t­ion they’ve gathered safe.

But isn’t it dangerous?

“We have been concerned from the very beginning with the ethical implications related to the creation of robots capable of deception and we understand that there are beneficial and deleterious aspects,” Arkin said.

Co-researcher and engineer Al­an Wag­ner added:

Most so­cial ro­bots will probably rarely use de­cep­tion, but it’s still an im­por­tant tool in the ro­bot’s in­ter­ac­tive ar­se­nal be­cause ro­bots that rec­og­nize the need for de­cep­tion have ad­van­tages in terms of out­come com­pared to ro­bots that do not rec­og­nize the need for de­cep­tion.

Social robots will “rarely” use deception, eh? That’s comforting.

Undead Backbrain questioned one of the experimental robots about the research. He said: “Why ask me? I’m not even a ro …. [click] … ro [click] … robot.”

Read more about the research on World Science.

Sources: DIVICE; World Science

AT-AT Day Afternoon and Iron Baby

This is a beautifully done piece of combined stop-motion animation/CGI and live action using an AT-AT toy. For those who don’t know, AT-AT refers to the “All Terrain Armored Transport” walker from Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back.


And by the same creator/director, here’s IRON BABY:

The Robot (1932)

Max Fleischer’s early cartoon, “The Robot”, featured his franchise character Bimbo, but if you look closely you’ll see that a nascent Betty Boop is Bimbo’s co-star. I reckon that’s Felix the Cat moonlighting as the referee, too.

The robot that features in “The Robot” (1932)  was rather ahead of its time. Not only is it a robot, but it’s also a transformer and has definite mecha characteristics.

Designs on Korea’s Taekwon V

The Taekwon V Lab has posted a bunch of designs that may reflect how the iconic Korean giant robot Taekwon V will look in the upcoming live-action Taekwon V film. The designs (as seems visually obvious) are by Josh Nizzi, who worked on Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen and will likewise be involved in the third of the US Transformers blockbusters.

Taekwon V, South Korea’s giant mecha, which gets its name from its martial art prowess, more traditionally looks like this recently released (and very beautiful) model:

Naturally the robot will be getting a millennial upgrade for the new film, which is still in production but is scheduled for release in 2011. Here’s some of Nizzi’s conceptual design work for that upgrade, with options offered. Clearly Nizzi is going for the current modular look popularised by Michael Bay’s Transformers.

Below is a video of some test animation:

Doll Face

Doll Face, a short film by Andrew Thomas Huang

A machine with a doll face mimics images on television screen in search of a satisfactory visage. Doll Face presents a visual account of desires misplaced and identities fractured by our technological extension into the future.

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