Transformers donâ€™t care about people, period… With their blatant disregard for people, Transformers burned into my psyche the idea that robots didnâ€™t have to depend onâ€”or be limited in the same ways asâ€”humans. That was the kind of robot I wanted to build.
Itâ€™s a subtle but important lesson: Ballsy independent robots designed to sense, think, and act according to their own, nonhuman rules can transcend human abilities rather than pathetically imitate them. Real-life examples of this abound today: In 2001, the Deep Space 1 smart probe used an AutoNav system to choose its own path to Comet Borrelly; the Seahorse autonomous underwater vehicle from the US Navy can search unmanned for submerged mines; and in recent military demonstrations, bullet trackers like iRobotâ€™s RedOwl can pinpoint camouflaged snipers in milliseconds. None of these robots want to be a human, hurt a human, or even ask a human for directions.