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Wrong company

So Evil Megacorp bought a robotics company.

Clearly I’m not a mega-evil-genius (though I’m open to offers), but it seems to me that scary robots are something that pretty much anyone with a few million dollars can build. Patents are expired, the field is open to anyone. Boston Dynamics built some cool tech, but people have been doing that for at least two decades now [1].

But powering those robots? It’s the same problem everyone’s got. Chemistry only gives you so much power in a limited space. Batteries are heavy. Energy distribution systems are set up to deliver electricity and fossil fuels. Hydrogen costs more to make than it delivers – plus it blows up real good. And has a horrible carbon footprint. Physics has better energy density, but RTGs are low power, expensive, hard to make, and bring whole nother set of problems. Anytime you start packing lots of energy in a small space, the propensity to go boom (even if it’s other people stealing your materials to make things go boom) increases [2].

You have to make a better battery. That doesn’t blow up if it’s looked at funny. Better living through better chemistry. Well for robots anyway.

Figure out a better battery and you’ll own the world. Otherwise in the upcoming dystopian skynet future, those robots are going to be scattered metallic and CF carcasses, plundered for their copper and rare earths.

Plus then the iPhone battery would last more than a day. Which I’m sure will be important when I’m trying to hide from the aerial robotic autonomous drones. Wait. We already have those.

[1] and by “people”, I mean people paid by Your Government. Like rocket science, the internet, medicine, computers, and roads, this stuff only gets done if the government (“you”) pays for the unprofitable research for decades until it becomes profitable for the brilliant tycoons to adopt it wholesale and take credit for going the last mile.

Which is as it should be. It just bothers me that those same BTs are so often conservative or libertarian and would happily broast the golden goose, or at least donate campaign contributions to those building the fires. Not unlike the unemployed woman I heard on NPR yesterday who’s upset that her unemployment benefits are coming to an end. Yes, she’s a Republican. Always has been, always will be. Why do you ask?

[2] Gasoline turns out to be a pretty awesome energy source. Aside from the whole ruining the world by heating it up thing. One wonders what happens on a world that evolves intelligent life, but doesn’t go through the whole fossil-fuel-forming geologic eras, snowball earths, mass extinctions,etc. (IANAG). If you only had wood fuels, would you build an internet?