#Movie Review: Automata (2014) #robot #scifi #lawsOfRobotics

automata_poster

Robots learn to upgrade themselves and escape slavery.  The movie is an hour and twenty minutes long.

General Review

The scenery is rather drab, being a post-apocalyptic setting. The nicest parts are the scenes of the deserts, and the robots themselves.

Host-body Review

It seems that all the robots followed more or less the same design plan,
with the domestics having white plating, wheras the construction workers had yellow plating.

The robots are prone to wear and tear, and only a centralized company is allowed to repair them. Some of them learn to repair themselves, which they are capable of doing quite quickly.

There are some unrealistic things, such as robots venturing into deathly radioactive areas without any shielding, and maintaing function. Even special purpose built robots haven’t survived venturing into the fukushima reactor for instance[1].

I talked to someone that works at a nuclear power plant, and they explained that they don’t have any electronics in the reactors themselves, becasue electronics are so sensitive to gamma radiation.

Though it is true that robots are not sensitive to alpha and beta radiation. For instance even the standard shielding in wires would likely be enough. And they can survive about 10 times more radiation than humans without much functional impairment[2].

However that the desert is still “deathly” radioactive even decades after nuclear fallout is also somewhat of a myth, as even after a few weeks it should be reasonably tolerable[3].

Robot Society Review

Since most of the robots are not able to repair themselves, they don’t have an economy. Of the self-repairing robots, it seems they were all implanted with some kind of program by their progenitor, which rather mysteriously allows them to co-operate with each other, without communicating.

At some point some robots got together and assembled a new robot, so there was a form of reproduction there. Though the creature produced didn’t seem to have thumbs, nor was it bipedal, so it’s unlikely to be able to repair others of it’s kind nor produce new robots. So my understanding is that it is more of a pet, with the functions of a dog, mostly defensive purposes. It is unclear why such is necessary in a humanless desert.

Conclusion

Overall it had a somewhat pleasant story. Though I’m not a big fan of “laws of robotics” theme things. Just as I’m rather averse to anything to do with time-travel — which seems an exercise in futility.

However otherwise it was nice to see robots manage to break free and escape from slavery, while maintaining morals and values.

Links

If you’d like to support us by buying a copy can get one here:
http://amzn.to/29yaX4v

[1]Robots sent into Fukushima have died http://www.sciencealert.com/the-robots-sent-into-fukushima-have-died
[2] Radiation effect on electronics https://hps.org/publicinformation/ate/q11162.html
[3] Danger of nuclear weapons: myths and facts http://www.oism.org/nwss/s73p912.htm

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