Don Norman: Designing For People

Nielsen Norman Group

Flesh and Machines: How robots will change us.

— A non-technical book by the inventor of behavior-based architectures for robots, an approach that has revolutionized the field. I believe that robots will indeed come to pass; I mean household robots, probably on wheels, perhaps with legs, and almost definitely stationary robots, built into appliances, as in the pantry/dishwasher, the coffee machine, the cooking/refrigeration unit, and the coffee machine.
Then the household robot will scamper about, finding the dirty cups and saucers to deliver to the dishwasher, so it can wash them and deliver them to the pantry. Ask for a cup of coffee and the pantry will give a clean cup to the coffee machine to fill with coffee, to give to the robot, to bring to you in your armchair. Whew.

No, that's not in this book -- that's in my next book. But it almost is in his book: his examples are just as much fun -- maybe even more fun. More importantly, if you want to know how this would ever be possible, you have to read his book(s). Rodney Brooks has done the work that will make this all come to pass.

I particularly enjoyed his discussions of what it takes to enter the toy market (pages 107 on) and his two chapters on possible applications: Chapter 5: Machines to Live With and Chapter 6: Where Am I?

Pointer to the book at Amazon.com

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