If you want advancement, you need forward thinkers. If everyone is content with the state of things, or if no one is thinking in terms of what’s next, there will be no progression. Luckily, it’s human nature to dream, to have big ideas about what could be.
One of the reasons the robotics industry is booming is the desire to bring new and amazing things to the world. Fueled by books and big screens bursting with conscious robots and teleportation, grand ideas are already in place – all that researchers have to do is bring them to fruition.
But, what happens when you’ve got nothing but a room full of dreamers? Sure, there will be great idea and exchanges bouncing from brain to brain, but how do you get from a Roomba to a fully-cognizant android? You have to walk before you can run. Dreamers are essential to breaking new ground, but it’s not as simple as that.
While you need ambitious thinkers to have progress, you also need grounded realists. That’s what the problem is with the field of robotics according to Dmitry Grishin, co-founder of one of Russia’s largest tech companies, Mail.Ru Group.
Grishin says, “Robotics needs dreamers. But there are too many dreamers now, and we need more practical people developing actual products.”
The science fiction genre has proven to be an appealing and abundant resource for the field of robotics. The trouble is, people are trying to make the huge leap to the end product of an fictional story rather than to reach it by a more organic approach. The result is a plethora of half-developed technologies or robots that are useless in their immediacy instead of products designed with the intention of being used.
Maybe Grishin is right. Maybe there needs to be more roboticists who advance the field by introducing more products that have immediate use upon completion. Then again, maybe the dreamers are fast-tracking all the technologies that world has become enamored with on silver screens.