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review 2018-06-22 10:21
WE: ROBOT by David Hambling
WE: ROBOT: The robots that already rule our world - David Hambling

TITLE: WE: ROBOT: The Robots That Already Rule Our World


AUTHOR:  David Hambling




FORMAT: ebook/ PDF


ISBN-13: 978 1 78131 805 8



NOTE: I received a copy of this book from NetGalley. This review is my honest opinion of the book.



From the blurb:

Robots exist all around us. They populate our factories, assist our surgeons and have become an integral part of our armed forces. But they are not just working behind the scenes – impressive inventions such as free-roaming hoovers takecare of your household chores and the iPal is set to become your closest friend.

David Hambling reveals the groundbreaking machines – once the realm of science fiction – that are by our sides today, and those that are set to change the future forever. From the Reem robocop that polices the streets of Dubai to the drones that deliver our parcels and even the uncanny Gemonoid Hi-4 built to look just like you, here are fifty unique robots that reach into every aspect of our daily lives.

We:Robot examines why robots have become embedded in our culture, how they work and what they tell us about our society and its future.



In We:Robot, David Hambling discusses the myriad of ways that robots and humans already work together and what the future may hold for robot-human interactions.  He provides a variety of specific robotic examples under four categories:  robots at work, robots at war, robots in your life and robots beyond.  Each robot example includes a page sized diagram (and sometimes a photograph), its dimensions, construction material, power source, processor, year of first use and then a summary of the robot's history and uses.  

Examples of specific robots include:
(1) industrial robots such as those that help put cars together, those that are designed to pick strawberries, skyscraper window washers (aptly named the Gekko Facade Robot), pilotbots, the alpha burger-bot, and the robot that herds and milks cows!!;
(2) household, lifestyle and medical robots such as the Roomba "vacuum cleaner", the Automower 450X, the Da Vinci Surgical System, the kiddies entertainment unit (IPAL - not sure letting a robot raise your child is a good idea, but it's there!), bionic hands;
(3) war robots such as drones, the packhorse replacement packbot, exoskeletons; and
(4) robots in the future such as the robonaut, underwater dolphin robot, a remote controlled lifeguard robot, Curiosity Mars rover, the soft, squishy octobot, swarming kilobots, and the Dubai police robots.

I found this book to be particularly fascinating - I had no idea there were that many robots running around!  The writing style is clear and conversational, with no technobabble.  The illustrations are beautifully (and colourfully) rendered and accompanied by colour photographs of a selection of the stranger robots.

This is an interesting book that takes a look at some specific robots, how they work, how they fit into our lives and what the future holds for us and them.  I suspect even technophobes will find this book interesting.


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review 2018-06-18 19:41
Rusty The Squeaky by Robot Neil Clark
Rusty The Squeaky - Robot Neil Clark

Poor little Rusty the Squeaky Robot. Rust is very sad. With every move he makes he squeaks. The other robots try to show Rusty how being different is good. All of the robots make a song using their own unique noise as the music to show the good thing about being different. 


This was a great book. The kids and I both loved the colorful illustrations. I loved that this book is educational in it teaches that being different is perfectly all right and actually the best way to be. 


I received this book from the Author or Publisher via Netgalley.com to read and review.

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review 2018-06-17 03:27
The Wild Robot Escapes
The Wild Robot Escapes - Peter Brown


Our story begins in a city, with buildings and streets and bridges and parks.


- First sentence



At the end of the first book, Roz is taken away from her island home and brought back to the factory. She is reactivated at Hilltop farm to work for the Shreef family. As much as she enjoys her new home (kids, cows, etc.), Roz misses Brightbill and all her friends on the island. Will she be able to keep her secret? And will she ever make it back to her island home?


This is a great follow up and just as quirky and fun as the first one. I read this to my book club at school. The kids liked the first book better, but they did enjoy this one. It took a while to get going, but the end is worth it.


Recommended to: 3rd-5th graders who like quirky stories with talking animals


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review 2018-05-28 13:18
Gets better and better.
Transformers: IDW Collection - Phase Two Vol. 4 - Various,Various

I know there is some crossover with volumes five of More Than Meets the Eye and Robots in Disguise, but I'm just reading all of those, especially since I particularly like some of these issues.   


In particular, issue 18 of RiD is from Arcee's point of view, and you get a far more nuanced and sympathetic look at her character than you've gotten before.   At some point, she goes from someone who had a gender transition forced upon her and was simply angry, and portrayed as insane, to someone who was trying to be a better version of herself, and trying to connect with others.   It may have started before here - I suspect it did - but you don't see it.   It starts showing here.   However, she had to be watching Bee, and how others reacted to him, to come up with the thoughts on how others saw him and on how she felt about him.   This didn't happen spontaneously, and yet it happened off scene so it can feel like it did.  


I don't know why is when she went from assassin to fully fleshed out character who - yes, was an assassin - but also became thoughtful about that aspect of her life - without fully ditching her itch to react violently to little provocation.   (To be fair, she had this built in to her character.   Yes, in a really offensive way, but it is part of her character in this continuity and they were making a clear point not to retcon, or go against previous continuity.   That being said, the only reason I didn't knock of stars is that Barber tries to undo as much of the damage he can by really drawing her out, particularly later.   Also, a lot of time this comes from on high: you have to live with horrendous decisions because you want to keep your dream job, and I get that.)


This volume is where I start to really loathe Rodimus.  I say start, but that's not true: I've loathed him for a while.   But this turns into a visceral rage that Arcee and I could talk about over some Energon.   I mean, like she would understand the depth of my rage at him.   Then again, she spent years killing Jhiaxus, watching him come back to life, and killing him again - and I wish it were Rodimus she were killing over and over again...


The lives she would save!   Just think of all the lives she'd save!


Bad, bad shit goes down in More Than Meets the Eye.   It's Rodimus' fault.   It always is.   He just lets Drift metaphorically fall on his great sword for him and fuck you Rodimus.  Drift would make a way better captain, even if he captained on his feels.   And he totally would!

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review 2018-05-25 22:00
Absolutely fantastic!
Transformers: IDW Collection Phase Two Volume 3 - Jimbo Salgado,Nick Roche,Alex Milne,John Barber,James Lamar Roberts

This is just splendid: a lot of storylines are coming together, and it's beautiful to watch it all in one go.  


I think I'm gonna reread all this next year, too, to be honest.

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