Can robots be creative? British gallery owner Aidan Meller hopes to go some way towards answering that question with Ai-Da, who her makers say will be able to draw people from sight with a pencil in her bionic hand.
Some 78 million miles (126 million kilometers) from Earth, alone on the immense and frigid Red Planet, a robot the size of a small 4x4 wakes up just after sunrise. And just as it has every day for the past six years, it awaits its instructions.
Give a man a fish, the old saying goes, and you feed him for a day — teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime. Same goes for robots, with the exception that robots feed exclusively on electricity.
R2D2 and BB-8 never seem to let anything hold them back, even when faced with vast, terrifying desert planets. R2D2 trundles cheerfully across the sands of Tatooine. BB-8 takes his own sandy trek on Jakku. Sadly, such scenarios aren’t realistic. Not because Star Wars is fiction (though it is). It’s because a droid with wheels has no place on a desert planet.