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How can robots and drones be used for the good of humanity?

Do you know of any exciting way that robots or drones are being used today to help humanity?

Or have you fantasized about potential usage areas for them that they aren't being used for today?

Please note that this is not a conversation regarding the (potential) destruction and havoc that they can bring it is a conversation meant to share ideas on how they can be used for good.

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    Jul 5 2013: It is in the intent that good or harm lies.
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    Jun 30 2013: .
    Woo-hoo! We are saved!

    Our urgent need is to detect invalid (harmful) happiness,
    which leads us to self-extinction.

    The robots will do it easily!
    We need not to bio-evolve an instinct to do it any more !!!

    Thanks a lot, Jimmy Strobl !!!
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    Jun 6 2013: A less obvious good for humanity will be that remote controlled Robots will allow the disabled to inter the work force, not only allowing them to gain self-reliance but to also help others in need.

    Imagine hundreds of these http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-22774499 or http://www.ted.com/talks/vijay_kumar_robots_that_fly_and_cooperate.html searching the woods for a lost child or for survivors after an earthquake.

    Some envision robots becoming fully self-controlled, I envision robots become dual remote and self-controlled. As in a human remotely tell it to go to point B and the robot adjusts for wind and other objects.
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      Jun 6 2013: Yeah the TED talk about swarming quadrotors is really amazing, I have the envision that they could be used to map a city (or larger) fully in 3D down to a millimeters precision.
      Or that you could build larger drones and equip them with fire fighting gear to put out fires in an area that firemen can't reach.
      • Jun 7 2013: Google already have 3D maps for at least all the major cities in the U. S. or probably in all the world.
        I also compared the birds eye maps done by Apple and Google using helicopters. There the experiences comparing the techniques of the two is quite clear. For example, there was a birds eye view of the Statue of Liberty. In Apple's "map", the stature was completely in the sun shadow of the helicopter directly over the stature, while the Google map image was taken from a helicopter at least about about 30 degrees off the statue, so that the entire image of it together with most of its surroundings with no shadows (because it was taken at noon time). That was why Apple had to withdraw their maps software and allow the iPad users to download the Google maps instead. Of course, the Google maps were also taken with 3D camera mounted on a truck. The resulted image would be more comparable for a user to identify the building when s/he is driving by in a car.
        I have heard about in some countries, the government agencies were using the 3D map by Google for assessing the real estate values of certain properties. And also there was a law suit pending that the Google survey revealed some private secret information which would invade the privacy human rights of certain individuals. It was also reported that a computer software could identify a particular person/criminal through an aerial survey above an open city square among thousands of people.
  • Jun 6 2013: Let me first define what is a robot. In my definition, it doesn't have to look like a human at all. It should be able to have "arms" that carrying tasks automatically without direct guidance by human hands of feet. Doing something under the guidance of a voice or electronic command maybe OK.
    By this definition, robotics have already been used by lot of business or industry. There are also some robots made to serve home tasks such as auto vacuum cleaners.
    The obvious possibility to benefit humanity is the robotic mining from deep underground where loss of human life happened quite frequently. To use robots to do most of labor works is possible, and furthermore, the robots could be made to do heavier lifting and cutting jobs than a human worker. They can be taught remotely and learn the procedures of mining directed by supervisors outside of the underground fields. Furthermore, they are even more capable to rescue themselves out of the cut-off spots, as well as surviving the catastrophe of fatal casualty because they don't need to breath and resistant to abnormal temperatures.
    Strictly speaking, soldiering is also humanistic, because it will save the lives of human soldiers. However, they should be used only in the the war between nations because only under that situation, the robotic soldiers would be prevented from erroneous killing of civilians, under the remote control of the commander(s). Robotic anti-ballistic missiles is also good for the humanity, since they could save large number of civilian casualties if they can blast the enemy intercontinental missiles off its intended target. Remember, the technology from the drone design, has been vastly advanced, that we will no longer subject to the failure in the Reagan era. This technology has already been used by the Israelis a few few months before. .
    There could also be service robots which can accept voice commands to perform many house-works for the disabled after an in-home "training" by a serviceman.