Cover Image: WE: ROBOT


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Member Reviews

A great overview of existing robots in various fields which included some rather cool ideas and inventions that I previously didn't know about. It's not quite a coffee table book, but generally more of a "dip in and out when the mood strikes" kind of read. The information per robot is short and snappy, so just enough to know as much as needed to understand the concept of it, but still leaving plenty more to discover elsewhere about the detailed mechanics and applications if interested. My one gripe would be the overall tone of the robot descriptions veering quite often a little too far into marketing speak, praising all the wonderful things about each robot a little more than needed, which I think dragged down the overall reading experience a bit.
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I really enjoyed WE: ROBOT. 

David Hambling reveals  the robots that exist all around us doing everyday tasks that are difficult or dangerous for humans to achieve, It's a unique book with beautiful illustrations, and colourful and modern graphics  by Liron Gilenberg’s graphics. 
An interesting  and informative book that shows how fast technology changes the world. I really enjoyed it.
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WE: ROBOT is a fascinating and quite topical look at how robots have taken over our lives. It details 50 unique robots and their current applications ... from the operating room to the armed forces, from the Reem robocop that polices Dubai to postal drones, and the Gemonoid Hi-4 designed to look just like us. A highly entertaining and informative look at the current robotic revolution, with an eye to what the future will bring. And it brings THEM! 5/5

Thanks to Quarto Publishing Group – Aurum Press and NetGalley for the ARC. Opinions are mine.

#We:Robot #NetGalley
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I have been fascinated by robots ever since I read Čapek's R.U.R. at school. Keen to learn about the current developments in robotics I picked up WE: ROBOT, and I was not disappointed. WE: ROBOT provides a comprehensive overview of what the different robots can currently do and also, what will robots be able to do in near future. I found the bit about the future developments particularly interesting as it highlights that the robotics as we know it currently, is barely the beginning.

The book was easy to read as the writing style is very clear, the language is simple with minimal jargon which should appeal to a wide range of readers. The book is split into four sections - robots at work, robots in your life, robots at war, and robots beyond. There are illustrations of each robot mentioned in the book, clearly showing their components and indicating the different functions, which makes the reading easy to follow.

I really enjoyed this book, it was quite eye-opening to see how many robots there are already around us and how they are progressively becoming an integral part of our everyday lives without us often realising it. I would highly recommend the book to anyone who is curious to discover the latest robot advances.  

Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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What a timely book! As we are becoming increasingly concerned about the use of robots in everyday life and in particular their ability to take over our jobs without the need for remuneration, we are torn between advancing and enriching our lives through robotic advancement and the possible cost we could face as a species should his occur. You can see why many businesses would support the advancement of robotic technology as it would cut their costs substantially if they were able to employ robots to do most of the workload. But could this lead to humanities downfall? It's a provocative and interesting question.

Whenever I think about robots I tend to think of the synths on the TV programme Humans or those freaky looking types that can be found manning the reception at various Japanese hotels but I do realise that most robots are not made or meant to resemble human beings. This book opened my eyes as to exactly what contraptions are around these days. Robots are not only assisting our surgeons, helping out the armed forces, and working in our factories, they are also helping us out at home with the chores e.g. free-roaming hoovers, that have been available to purchase for a few years now, and are set to be an even bigger part of our lives as time goes on.

"WE: ROBOT" was as intriguing as I thought it would be and I was totally engrossed from the very beginning, in fact it surpassed my expectations. There is information on how robots are currently being used around the world but plenty of discussion about upcoming releases that may take the world by storm. Hambling talks about fifty unique robots such as the Reem Robocop who polices the Dubai streets to the drones that deliver our parcels and not forgetting the nightmare inducing Gemonoid Hi-4 built to look just like a human (very similar to the ones I mentioned above).

I absolutely adored reading this and was a little sad when it came to an end. Everything about it was perfect to me, the information on both robots that already exist and ones that are in the making was accessible and engaging and Hambling also touched on why robots have become so embedded in our culture, how they work and what they tell us about our society and its future.

This is a fantastic read for anyone interested in the specifics of robotics and the advances made in the technology field towards us being much more reliant on these devices. As aforementioned, it is a very accessible book that I think most people would find engaging, well written and meticulously researched. The beautiful illustrations and colour photographs really complement the writing. I have to give it five-stars as it thoroughly deserves it. I've ordered a copy for my already overstuffed bookshelves and will definitely read it once again when I receive the physical copy.

Many thanks to Quarto Publishing Group - Aurum Press for an ARC.  I was not required to post a review and all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.
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We Robot: “The day is coming when they will rival and surpass us in all sorts of fields.”

First seen in 1495 in Da Vinci’s sketches of a mechanical knight, robots are increasingly everywhere. From over 400,000 industrial robots made by one manufacturer to the future of skyscraper window cleaning. Even motion capture surgery and pilotless air taxis are available or soon to be available. Robots are moving across the human landscape like a Kilobot swarm. We Robot focuses on robots at work, in life, at war and in the future. It includes photographs, basic schematics and descriptions for 50 robots all with different functions.

We Robot would be useful for authors or illustrators if robots appear in their work. It is also just interesting how far we have come in the decades since the Jetsons’ Rosie or R2D2 and C3P0 from Star Wars. 4 stars!

Thanks to Quarto/Aurum and NetGalley for a copy.
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In We:Robot, David Hambling discusses the myriad of ways that robots and humans already work together and what the future may hold for robot-human interactions.  He provides a variety of specific robotic examples under four categories:  robots at work, robots at war, robots in your life and robots beyond.  Each robot example includes a page sized diagram (and sometimes a photograph), its dimensions, construction material, power source, processor, year of first use and then a summary of the robot's history and uses.  

Examples of specific robots include:
(1) industrial robots such as those that help put cars together, those that are designed to pick strawberries, skyscraper window washers (aptly named the Gekko Facade Robot), pilotbots, the alpha burger-bot, and the robot that herds and milks cows!!;
(2) household, lifestyle and medical robots such as the Roomba "vacuum cleaner", the Automower 450X, the Da Vinci Surgical System, the kiddies entertainment unit (IPAL - not sure letting a robot raise your child is a good idea, but it's there!), bionic hands;
(3) war robots such as drones, the packhorse replacement packbot, exoskeletons; and
(4) robots in the future such as the robonaut, underwater dolphin robot, a remote controlled lifeguard robot, Curiosity Mars rover, the soft, squishy octobot, swarming kilobots, and the Dubai police robots.

I found this book to be particularly fascinating - I had no idea there were that many robots running around!  The writing style is clear and conversational, with no technobabble.  The illustrations are beautifully (and colourfully) rendered and accompanied by colour photographs of a selection of the stranger robots.

This is an interesting book that takes a look at some specific robots, how they work, how they fit into our lives and what the future holds for us and them.  I suspect even technophobes will find this book interesting.
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I should preface this review with a word of caution: I am a complete Luddite. Not only do I not understand technology, but I usually don’t care. I don’t have a Snapchat. I don’t do Twitter. I thought Amazon Echo was a complete waste of time. I really cannot understand why you would want your life to be run by gadgets and gizmos, which you then have to take to the Apple Store to get repaired when they (inevitably) break. That being said, I do think technology is cool. The things we can do now with technology are astounding. Robots are cool. And a little bit scary. So, that’s why I picked up this book. And why I probably didn’t “get” the techie stuff as much as, say a 16-year old kid would… Honestly, my 17-year old sister had to explain to me how to put shortcuts on my phone. Not even joking. I don’t get technology…

And yet I really enjoyed We : Robot.

First off, the illustrations are just beautiful. Liron Gilenberg’s graphics are crisp, colourful, and modern, and accompanied by clean photos of some seriously weird and wonderful doodads. Robots. Not doodads. Sorry. Slipped into grandma mode for a second there… But this is undoubtedly one you’re going to want a nice hardcover print copy of, because the illustrations are worth studying.
The author makes some very interesting points about how technology and humanity can, and already do, work together. We have a symbiotic relationship with robotics. I can’t say it made the idea of my entire life becoming automated, and the whole AI thing, any less terrifying, but it was a good point. I found that, in a very gentle way, the book made me reconsider my own relationship to technology. I mean, having a washing machine and being able to watch Netflix on my phone, these things have undeniably made my life better. Maybe technology isn’t all terrible? Maybe it does have some surprising benefits for society?

    Lego Mindstorms have more computing power than NASA had when it put a man on the moon.

I enjoyed learning about the history of robotics and computing. It’s not a subject I usually gravitate towards, but the author made it relatable by using comparisons and examples which (even I) understood. I got a real sense of the scale and pace of change which technology has brought to the Western world. I liked the strange, out-there robots which were mixed in with the more mundane and recognisable. The “Robots Beyond” section, in particular, was quite enthralling. There are robots designed like dolphins, an Octobot which is a prototype of “soft robotics” and has no electronic components (and is surprisingly adorable), and some rather disturbing robots called things like “Sophia” and “Geminoid HI-4” which imitate humans. The detail was comprehensive, without being overwhelming, and what could have been a dry, factual subject was rendered surprisingly readable.

    Ray Kuzweil, Google’s director of engineering, anticipates that computers will exceed human intelligence in the 2040s.

The book did make some rather terrifying predictions. I mean, what does the future look like as technology advances? These questions remain unanswered, and I think we will all be pondering that more and more as robotics is advancing so rapidly.

I enjoyed We : Robot very much, and would recommend it anyone with an interest in technology and non-fiction. Or, for people like me, who simply enjoy reading about things they don’t understand.
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