New 'Science and Star Wars' Episode Shows How Close We Are to Having Real-Life Droids

Wednesday, 27 September 2017 - 11:36AM
Science of Star Wars
Technology
Robotics
Wednesday, 27 September 2017 - 11:36AM
New 'Science and Star Wars' Episode Shows How Close We Are to Having Real-Life Droids
Image credit: Science of Star Wars
The droids of Star Wars may not seem like the most spectacular element of the franchise's mythos, but they're actually pretty important to the narrative of the films. R2-D2 and C-3PO single-handedly push the plot of A New Hope forward for the first hour of the movie, and the Imperial security droid K-2SO in Rogue One ended up (weirdly) as the emotional heart of the entire story (although that's as much to do with unlikable humans as anything).

This week, on the second episode of Lucasfilm's new Science and Star Wars web show, Anthony Carboni serves up some IBM product placement to look at how modern robotics technology is quickly catching up with Star Wars, to the point that our favorite droids will soon feel not only ordinary, but outdated. Keep in mind: automated robot arms and even synthetic dinosaur concierge staff are already finding places in our modern world.

Meanwhile, in the droid evolutionary tree, it's worth assuming that astromech droids' oldest ancestors must be something akin to Roombas.

You can watch the new episode on Facebook here.

The web show takes a close look at many of the bells and whistles that Artoo has packed inside his rusty innards and examines current robotic technology that covers similar abilities. We already have robots designed for welding and electronic repair work, while battle droids are growing in sophistication and complexity, to the point that puny humanoid bots have been overlooked in favor of terrifying robots that can fly while shooting at enemies.

Disney themselves have working droids by this point! Fans can even buy their own replicas that behave just like the droids of the movies!

It's funny to think just how dated the Science and Star Wars show will look in a few years' time. Before long, the droids of Star Wars will look as archaic and obsolete as the chunky black and white computer monitors that litter the Death Star control rooms, and the idea of creating a documentary that gives a cursory glance at robots of the modern world compared with characters from a Seventies space opera will feel like a complete joke.
Science
Science of Sci-Fi
Science of Star Wars
Technology
Robotics
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