Generation after Generation

In this age of technology, as consumers we have become accustomed to break-throughs and up-grades in every form of electronic device – TV’s, cell phones, computers, tablets, etc. – consumer products that effect our everyday lives. There is, however, a non-consumer product that is in its third generation of development. This product will save lives.

Fifty years ago a roboticist named Hirocheka Inoue of Tokyo University helped to produce the fist robots that could walk and manipulate objects. In a recent competition to find the best search and rescue robot, the Japanese team Shaft, a group to university students trained by a pupil of Dr. Inoue, Masayuki Inaba, won. The Shaft team it seems did not only inherit the technology left by its “father” and “grandfather”, but, according to Gill Pratt, the Darpa program manager, the team displayed a remarkable work ethic by actually building model after model rather than being satisfied with sketches. What a wonderful legacy to leave behind, not only the tools, but the mind-set needed to produce a ground breaker robot.

It is good to look forward, but it might benefit us to look back at times in order to retain and use those old-fashion virtues that are needed for success, in whatever field, generation after generation.

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