Six Pixels of Separation - The Blog
January 10, 2013 7:49 AM

Robots And Makers And Drones... Oh My!

Something new about something new.

At the beginning of this year, I started a new blog. Shhh, don't tell anyone ;) It's true. It's on tumblr and it's called: We, Robots. It's not a blog like Six Pixels of Separation is a blog and I'm sure many people will think that I'm not using tumblr in the way that it was created... all of that criticism would be accurate, but I don't care. In the past few years, I have become deeply interested in the maker movement, robots and drones and I've decided to place and comment on these industries over there.

That's only half-true.

What I'm really fascinated by is how the maker movement, robots and drones will make us all better at the work that we do. I have already written about this type of thinking right here:

Right now, 3D printing is inaccessible to the average person. Having a "make" button as readily available as a "print" button on our desktop is in the future. At the same time, building robots is not easy, but everyone is talking about robots in terms of automation (meaning, stealing the jobs of hard working citizens). I believe that the true future of robotics is augmentation and not just automation: the ability for human to use robots to make us better at the work that we do. Drones are rightfully stigmatized as scary military weapons. Unmanned vehicles flying into hostile territories and killing other human beings, all being controlled by military personnel who are stationed in a Las Vegas bunker, and acting like they're playing a video game. Drones (or unmanned aerial vehicles) will soon move from the battlefield into our neighborhoods, and it's going to create an entirely new industry.

What all of this means.

Technology is getting physical. Very physical. If you've been watching the news coming out of CES this week, the focus has been on two key areas (that we've been talking about here for months): robots and connected appliances. These are fascinating times. If you still marvel everytime you slide to unlock your iPhone, have faith that technology is about to get even that much more interesting in the next decade.

What do robots, drones, makers and telepresence have to do with marketing? 

Everything. A marketers job is to somewhat rudimentary: to get consumers to buy, become loyal and evangelize a brand. More screens, more interactivity and more ways for message to be delivered creates more opportunities for marketers. No, this isn't about running ads on a robot, having drones buzz around the sky with your billboard, or running a display ad on a telepresence device. This is about understanding these new, complex and fascinating technologies that are being developed all over the world: from garages to skunkwork labs in some of the biggest organizations.

Nothing changes.

The introduction of We, Robots doesn't change anything. I will still be blogging here six times a week with a weekly audio podcast. I will still be a regular contributor to Harvard Business Review, The Huffington Post and other magazines and newspapers. We, Robots will be a curated space where I will link to the interesting world of robots, drones and makers in relation to business and making the world a better place for all of us (so, no military, security and law enforcement type of stuff - I'm still a tree hugger). The design of We. Robots is not final (I'm currently using a simple, default tumblr template), so please focus on the content (the good folks at Twist Image will get to the design soon enough). If you're interested in it, you can follow me over here: We, Robots.

Things are about to get a little bit more interesting (again). 

By Mitch Joel


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