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The Rise of Robots


At the World Exhibition in Paris in the year 1900, a group of artists in    France created a set of funny pictures that showed the future. The images, printed on paper cards inside boxes of cigars, imagined what life would be like a hundred years later, in the year 2000. Many people believed that the world would be filled with robots.

L'Expostition De Paris 1900 image

Aerial view of the Exposition Universelle

Isaac Asimov image

In 1964, a science fiction writer named Isaac Asimov also tried to predict the future. He wrote an article for the New York Times.  Asimov said that in the span of 50 years, in the year 2014, the World’s Fair would include a universe of robots. There would be 3D TV, cities underground, and buildings on the moon. Of course, the world would include many robots, too! Asimov believed that some bots would prepare “auto meals.” Other bots would be created for housekeeping and gardening. The fair would even show a movie called “Robots of the Future” with robot cars powered by robot brains.  

All this fortune-telling sounds a little bit like the Frankenbots! When Sue first built the bots, she let them know that Frankenbots may have been constructed from different parts and pieces—but they always worked together.

Experts today believe that there is a good chance most of our homes will be transformed by advances in technology and robots. We see this already with Siri and Alexa and with smartphones and computers in general. Soon, everything will be “smart.” There will be smart heating, smart floors, smart clothes, and more. Futurologist (yes, that is a real profession) Ian Pearson thinks that robots will be running almost everything by the year 2050. Pearson believes that right now there are more than 60 million robots out here. In 2050, however, he thinks that number will climb to more than 9.5 billion around the world.

What do you think about the rise in robots? If you could build the ultimate Frankenbot, what would it look like and what would it do?

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