Tag: Robots

May 17 2019

Book: Machines Like Me

If you are looking for a great book to read this weekend, I recommend Ian McEwan’s Machines Like Me. I read it last weekend and am still thinking about it.

McEwan is a magnificent writer. When the hardcover ended up on top of my infinite pile of books to read, Amy said, “Wow, you’ll love Ian McEwan’s writing.” Whenever Amy says something like that, I know I’m in for a treat.

The setting is London in 1982. But it’s a parallel universe. Alan Turing chooses jail over chemical castration, lives, and has created massive innovations that are 40 years ahead of their time. Lennon and JFK didn’t die. Jimmy Carter wins a second term. Margaret Thatcher gets booted after botching the Falklands War.

That’s the backdrop for the introduction of our protagonists Charlie and Miranda. Charlie uses his inheritance to buy an Adam, one of 25 first production models of artificial humans (13 Eves, 12 Adams are available – the Eves sell out immediately so Charlie ends up with an Adam.)

I love the narrative feature of a parallel universe. Amy and I started watching Season 2 of The OA last night which aggressively jumps to an alternative universe. Some of today’s best near term sci-fi writers are using this as a basis for their writing, although they are often less explicit about how they are twisting current reality to the alternative universe.

McEwan isn’t subtle about the twists, which makes the book awesome. You quickly feel that this 1982 is the real 1982 and things take off from there. Every time McEwan drops another new reality fragment, more pieces fall nicely into place.

The result is a very provocative journey through the introduction of an artificial human into the evolving relationship of two existing real humans.

If you are a reader, especially one who likes (a) sci-fi and (b) literary fiction, you’ve got a fun weekend ahead of you if you grab Machines Like Me.

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Mar 14 2019

More Robot Pi

It’s still Pi Day at least in Boulder for a few more hours. And, well, robots.


Misty is making a lot of progress and is still available to pre-order at 25% off her retail price, which is just slightly more than $3,141.59.

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Feb 20 2019

Happy Robot Valentines Day

Day 1 of Sphero’s RVR pre-order campaign is off to a great start (> 1000 backers, > $250,000 in the first 24 hours.) It’s Day 2, but for some people in the tech world it’s always Day 1, so if you missed RVR, go take a look and jump in on the pre-order fun.

I was on vacation during valentines day so I’m a little late. But, robot valentines day transcends time, especially since I love robots.

Misty is shipping soon, but you can follow along and pre-order now.

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May 25 2017

Sphero’s Ultimate Lightning McQueen

If you’ve been in our office recently, you’ve seen me fiddling around with one of my newest toys – Ultimate Lightning McQueen by Sphero. It’s now available for the world.

Based on what I know about robotic toys, I believe it’s the most advanced robotic toy ever made. Owen Wilson is even included in it (well – his voice – as LMQ …).

It started shipping yesterday so it’ll probably sell out quickly as Sphero ramps production. If you are into RC cars, amazing robots, or you have children who like the movie Cars (even grown up children like me), you can buy it online from Sphero or Amazon.

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Apr 10 2017

Happy National Robotics Week

It’s National Robotics Week 2017. Yay robots. I’m doing my best to endear myself to the robots for when they become self-aware. Hint to all robots out there: “I love you.”

Last week Fred Wilson posted about a really fun human / robot collaboration called TYWLS Digital Dance. It starred some humans and some Spheros.

Today, a few folks from Sphero express their (and their company’s) love for robots.

Hug a robot today.

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Sep 30 2015

100 Dancing Robots

I saw this video earlier today and it delighted me.

I love Sphero.

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Nov 7 2013

Do You Want To Build Robots?

One of the companies I’m an investor in, Modular Robotics, just launched a Kickstarter campaign around its new product MOSS. It’s amazing.

Definitely a “show not tell” so I encourage you to watch the five minute video and then back the MOSS Kickstarter campaign if you, your kids, or your loved ones dig building things.

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Jul 18 2013

Humans and Robots Dancing in the Tesla Model S Factory

My partner Jason Mendelson sent me a five minute video from Wired that shows how a Telsa Model S is built. I watched from my condo in downtown Boulder as the sun was coming up and thought some of the images were as beautiful a dance as I’ve ever seen. The factory has 160 robots and 3000 humans and it’s just remarkable to watch the machines do their thing.

As I watched a few of the robots near the end, I thought about the level of software that is required for them to do what they do. And it blew my mind. And then I thought about the interplay between the humans and machines. The humans built and programmed the machines which work side by side with the humans building machines that transport humans.

Things are accelerating fast. The way we think about machines, humans, and the way the interact with each other is going to be radically different in 20 years.

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Jan 15 2013

Cubelets at CES 2013

A bunch of the companies we’ve invested in were at CES 2013. Modular Robotics, the makers of Cubelets, were at the Eureka Village (where Startup America was). The first thing I had to do when I got to CES was a panel for Startup America so the Modular Robotics booth was literally one of the first places I stopped after getting to Las Vegas.

It was mobbed. I came back around a few other times and it continued to be mobbed. They were showing Cubelets (which are for sale now) as well as a few new spicy connector things that they are about to release that let you connect Cubelets up to anything you can build with Legos.

TechCrunch did a nice three minute video interview that shows how Cubelets work. We invested last fall – I’m excited to be working with Eric Schweikardt and the team to create a robot construction kit that can really go mainstream.

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Dec 6 2012

Robotic Balls Dancing In Union Square

28 Spheros + 1 Boombox. + 4 Android phones = Mind Blown.

Wow – have you bought a Sphero for Christmas yet?

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