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Keep Calm and Build Robots

February 04, 2019

Keep Calm and Build Robots

With rapid developments in automation and robotics, many people fear humans are being phased out of the workplace. But according to Natanael Mota, founder of the Octopus Robotics Club, “We fear what we don’t know. If we can know better what this all means, and find where human strengths meet machine strengths, we will be far less fearful of these changes.”

Natanael was struck by the idea to start a robotics club after a Labs’ presentation on image recognition and machine learning. He saw the club as having great potential for Meetups, Github code sharing, and Hacker News reports, placing Octopus in the mind of early adopters as a home for innovative thinking.

The club focuses on three topics: coding, electronics and building a robot body. Its current emphasis is on coding, which requires no funding. “At Labs, we have connections with other tech industries to already run pretty amazing coding projects for basically free,” stated Natanael.

Eventually, the club hopes to receive Octopus funding to purchase equipment such as a 3D printer and to support projects, such as a possible robotics competition.

“I’m hoping to make the club educational and easy to access,” said Natanael, who envisions people from different backgrounds and expertise becoming involved. “People would be able to come in and build something with zero previous experience.”

For those who want to dip their toes into the topic and expand their knowledge of robotics and machine learning, Natanael offered a few book suggestions: Super Intelligence, Homodeus and Life 3.0.

If the club succeeds in its mission, according to Natanael, those involved will better appreciate how robotics affect their everyday lives and gain understanding that these changes are not completely out of their control.