Philosophical and social meanings of robotics- what does it mean to you?

Ever since I was a young child- eight years old, I have been interested in robotics. While I initially was more interested in making money off of a burgeoning industry (as I put it as a child, “robotics is now where computers were in the 80s”), robotics has taken on more and more of a symbolic and philosophical meaning to me. When I was around twelve, I took to philosophy, originally a self described nihilist before becoming a transhumanist- which I am today. Transhumanism is a scientific, artistic, philosophic and cultural movement that seeks to change basic human biology with technologies such as bio-engineering and neurorobotics, or cybernetics. The latter is what really drove me into pursuing robotics- to help a species so vulnerable to the vast majority of things in the world become just a little bit better. Robotics means to me not just progression of technology, but progression of my entire species.

How about you- is there any reason you want to go into, or have an interest in robotics that’s more than just a college degree and the prospect of a career?

From a control systems/autonomy point of view, the better we can understand ourselves and our surroundings, the better we can make robots that function the way we intend them to. After all, aren’t they performing tasks that we are trying to avoid doing ourselves?