Get Ready For Robo-Nerds


Via Mikehall's Embedded Weblog, we are led to this transcript of a Q&A that featured Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates, who provided his vision for robotics within a few years:

Well, I think it's critical to reach out to people however young they are when they want to learn the computer, they want to learn programming, and to give them the tools. One of the areas we're looking at right now is robotics. That may sound kind of strange, but we think within three or four years there will be these amazing robotic kits, and when people learn to program that will be one of the things that'll motivate them as they write little software that can take the robot vision and the robot map and have it move around and do different, new things. So we're making sure that we're taking things like .Net or Visual Basic and extending it with the rich kind of things that you might want a robot to perform--the vision, the speech synthesis and those things. And we have to start to bet on that now so that when it comes to pass in three or four years, that'll happen.

Gates, who appeared before university students in France, also provided some diplomatic news. He told students, "I was with President Chirac, and he was saying that he thinks relationships with the U.S. are actually better than the press would suggest."

Gates' vision for robotics may actually be conservative. Other technology companies have been at work trying to popularize the Robot Platform, such as Sony with this robot effort it officially unveiled last year.