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21st of September, 2017

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Book Review: Roboter


[This is a book review I’ve written for next month’s Die Neue Szene, the local independent monthly, in case anyone feels like reading it.]





“Roboter Geschichte - Technik - Entwicklung” (Daniel Ichbiah)


The world of robotics is an expansive theme, and one that obviously fascinates Daniel Ichbiah, the author of this volume. Covering the technological development of robots, from the automatons of the Renaissance to the Mars Rovers of today, “Robots” takes a very detailed look at the history of robots, and how they have come play such an important role in modern society.


Modern consumer-oriented experiments like Honda’s humanoid Asimo, or Sony’s beloved mechanical canine, the Aibo, are covered in detail, and placed in their proper historical context. Fleshing out the author’s own experience, interviews with technological luminaries such as the creators of the phenomenal hit game “The Sims”, are sprinkled throughout the text.


Though impressive, this book is not without its faults. The lack of an index leaves the reader flipping through more than 500 pages when looking for a specific piece of information, and disqualifies its use for doing serious research. Additionally, the graphic design and layout add to the overall feel of disorganization.


Despite these shortcomings, Ichbiah’s “Roboter” is an entertaining and informative volume that will please the techno-geek in everyone. His informed vision of the future of robotics is exciting, and his enthusiasm for the subject is well-expressed and contagious. Anyone with an interest in technology, and the fusion of artificial intelligence with household appliances, could find a worse way to spend 35€.

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