在我开始研究真实世界的机器人之前，我写下了他们的虚构和历史的祖先。 这与我现在所做的并不遥远。 在工厂，实验室，当然还有科幻小说中，想象中的机器人不断激起我们对人造人和自动机器的想象力。
尽管真实世界的机器人正在稳步渗透到全球各地的城市地区，但仍然令人惊讶地发生功能失调。 这个 第四次工业革命 由机器人驱动，正在为应对经济，社会，政治和医疗领域的机遇和挑战而塑造城市空间和城市生活。 我们的城市变得太大，人类无法管理。
良好的城市治理能够实现并保持事物，数据和人员的顺畅流动。 这些包括公共服务，交通和交付服务。 医院和银行排长队意味着管理不善。 交通拥堵表明道路和交通 交通系统 是不够的。 我们越来越多地在线订购的商品不够快。 而Wi-Fi通常不符合我们的24 / 7数字需求。 总而言之，城市生活以环境污染，快速生活，交通拥堵，连通性和消费增加为特点，需要机器人解决方案 - 或者我们相信这一点。
在竞争激烈的比赛中，许多大城市（首尔，东京，深圳，新加坡，迪拜，伦敦，旧金山）作为自动车辆试验的试验台 “自动驾驶”汽车。 自动化端口和 仓库 也越来越自动化和机器人化。 测试 送货机器人和无人机 is gathering pace beyond the warehouse gates. Automated control systems are monitoring, regulating and optimising 交通流量. Automated vertical farms are innovating production of food in “non-agricultural” urban areas around the world. New mobile health technologies carry promise of healthcare “beyond the hospital”. Social robots in many guises – from 警务人员 to restaurant waiters – are appearing in urban public and commercial spaces.
As these examples show, urban automation is taking place in fits and starts, ignoring some areas and racing ahead in others. But as yet, no one seems to be taking account of all of these various and interconnected developments. So how are we to forecast our cities of the future? Only a broad view allows us to do this. To give a sense, here are three examples: Tokyo, Dubai and Singapore.
Currently preparing to host the Olympics 2020, Japan’s government also plans to use the event to showcase many new robotic technologies. Tokyo is therefore becoming an urban living lab. The institution in charge is the Robot Revolution Realisation Council, established in 2014 by the government of Japan.
The main objectives of Japan’s robotisation are economic reinvigoration, cultural branding and international demonstration. In line with this, the Olympics will be used to introduce and influence global technology trajectories. In the government’s vision for the Olympics, robot taxis transport tourists across the city, smart wheelchairs greet Paralympians at the airport, ubiquitous service robots greet customers in 20-plus languages, and interactively augmented foreigners speak with the local population in Japanese.
Tokyo shows us what the process of state-controlled creation of a robotic city looks like.
Singapore, on the other hand, is a “smart city”. Its government is experimenting with robots with a different objective: as physical extensions of existing systems to improve management and control of the city.
In Singapore, the techno-futuristic national narrative sees robots and automated systems as a “natural” extension of the existing smart urban ecosystem. This vision is unfolding through autonomous delivery robots (the Singapore Post’s delivery drone trials in partnership with AirBus helicopters) and driverless bus shuttles from Easymile, EZ10.
Meanwhile, Singapore hotels are employing state-subsidised service robots to clean rooms and deliver linen and supplies and robots for early childhood education have been piloted to understand how robots can be used in pre-schools in the future. Health and social care is one of the fastest growing industries for robots and automation in Singapore and globally.
Dubai is another emerging prototype of a state-controlled smart city. But rather than seeing robotisation simply as a way to improve the running of systems, Dubai is intensively robotising public services with the aim of creating the “happiest city on Earth”. Urban robot experimentation in Dubai reveals that authoritarian state regimes are finding innovative ways to use robots in public services, transportation, policing and surveillance.
National governments are in competition to position themselves on the global politico-economic landscape through robotics, and they are also striving to position themselves as regional leaders. This was the thinking behind the city’s September 2017 试飞 的 flying taxi developed by the German drone firm Volocopter – staged to “lead the Arab world in innovation”. Dubai’s objective is to automate 25％ of its transport system by 2030.
It is currently also experimenting with Barcelona-based PAL Robotics’ humanoid police officer and Singapore-based vehicle OUTSAW. If the experiments are successful, the government has announced it will robotise 25% of the police force 通过2030。
These three urban robotic living labs – Tokyo, Singapore, Dubai – help us gauge what kind of future is being created, and by whom. From hyper-robotised Tokyo to smartest Singapore and happy, crime free Dubai, these three comparisons show that, no matter what the context, robots are perceived as means to achieve global futures based on a specific national imagination. Just like the films, they demonstrate the role of the state in envisioning and creating that future.
Mateja Kovacic, Visiting Research Fellow, 谢菲尔德大学