Illustration: Chris Blanchette

When worlds collide: our special robots issue

In Business & Technology, Editorial, Robots IssueLeave a Comment

Reading Time: 2 minutes

By Justin Chandler & Jacob Dubé

Justin: When worlds collide.

Jacob: You can run. But none can hide.

Justin: That’s right, Ryerson. The robots are coming and there’s nothing you can do to stop them. This special biz and tech issue is about the researchers at Ryerson who are rushing to meet our metallic overlords. Scientists and engineers worldwide are building robots with all sorts of functions, from delivering beer to conducting surveillance.

Jacob: Making robots always seems like a thing that governments do in secret labs, or something a supervillain would do to rule the world, but there are students and professors at Ryerson who work on robots every day.

Justin: Inside this issue, you’ll read one expert’s warning about robots replacing people at their jobs and another who’s not so worried about it. There’s so much potential that there’s still no consensus on what robots should or shouldn’t do. That’s why this issue is important. It shines a spotlight on robots doing things you may find unusual, or working in disciplines you may not expect, like art and sports. Some of these robots are silly, some are serious.

Jacob: But all these robots matter. We don’t yet know what we need robots to do, so now’s an important time to experiment— to throw robotic spaghetti at the wall to see what sticks.

Justin: Excellent inventions often present themselves as solutions to problems you didn’t realize you had.

Jacob: What we’re saying is that the robot movement is happening. They’re sprouting everywhere, especially in places you didn’t expect—from shooting perfect basketball shots to critiquing art pieces.

We should be supporting the people that do this work. It’s fucking hard. It’s months, sometimes years, of work with no guaranteed reward. Don’t get me started on how much it costs to make an ENTIRE ROBOT.

We wanted to make this issue to showcase all the work that’s put into robots at Ryerson. As former and current Biz & Tech editors, Justin and I have worked closely enough with the technological and *pukes* innovative side of the university to know that Ryerson is like a lime lollipop with a tootsie roll inside—pretty regular at first, but hiding some crazy shit if you put a little effort into finding it. We’re breaking this wide open!

Justin: Technology lollipops are everywhere! All around us!

Jacob: Exactly.

Justin: Of course, robots aren’t all great. Even if they don’t mobilize and decide to enslave humanity, they could still threaten us. We should be wary of the danger automation poses to certain trade workers. And we should definitely worry about those autonomous drones the Pentagon is looking into…

Jacob: We’ve also got to monitor the progress of these robots on campus because eventually some engineering student is going to arm these little buggers and take over campus.

Justin: When that day inevitably comes, The Eyeopener will be there to report on it (and fight the robots).

Jacob: So take our hands.

Justin: We’ll be your guides.

Jacob and Justin: When worlds collide.

Check out all the stories from this special issue below!

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