Saturday, July 07, 2007


Transformers is MUCH better than expected even though the premise of the film is somewhat ridiculous to say the least. The CG is flawless, the story develops at an appropriate pace and the idea of the menacing power of autonomous, intelligent robots comes frighteningly clear with Frenzy, the small Decepticon that hacks into the Pentagon on Air Force One using DNA equipped adaptive genetic code to do the deed. The part that sends chills to people versed in tech is the way the insect-like Frenzy moves and acts at hyper speed and purpose. Compared to this, the Terminator/Predator and Alien characters look almost benign in their slow mammalian way of moving and dealing with the situation at hand, something that pales when seeing how Frenzy goes about doing destructo things for Megatron, the baddest of the bad Transformers.

The interesting thing regarding all of this is that Rodney Brooks of MIT and Hans Moravec of Carnegie Melon and others at Case Western University in Ohio are developing insect inspired bots that learn from the bottom up and are able to navigate in the environment without a problem. Also see Robotic Butterfly for another take on bots.

The part that's missing from this equation beside intelligence and transformation is power as the Transformers move, fly and move/destroy things with consummate ease, something that goes far beyond the tech of today's bots.

No question these hurtles will be overcome in due time. The question to ask is, Can we handle what is coming?

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