Art making for analyses of the mental cases…I mean….er…month with Rassafraggin
Like a lot of likely people, I have very close friends that live across enormous stretches of distances. I often sit and lament about how I’d like to be able to meet and get to actually hang out. Because, also like a lot of people, I’m too broke to get a plane or train ticket, or a passport. I’ve sat trying to figure out solutions to this problem. Not affordable ones or even logical ones, but just for the hell of it.
I started thinking about how the technology of Skype could be used as a foundation. Then I started thinking about Smart Phones, then ASIMO-style articulate robotic technology, then those cat ears that debuted at Comic con that respond to emotional neurological output. Would it be possible to build a robotic avatar in which two people separated by major distance can nearly fully interact, and is anybody already working on this? It doesn’t seem all that an advanced technology, just one that would need immense funding and be very costly to the consumer, at least initially.
Of course, the person using the avatar would have to be stationary for the amount of time they spend with the other person, because there would be some sensory hook-ups for touch and maybe even smell, and controls involved for movement of the avatar. But that’s no different than being stationary to chat on a computer or take the time to actually go somewhere with someone. Anyway, if somebody can build electronic cat ears that respond to emotions, neurological technology could possibly be used in the same manner here. It’s the distance that’s the main hurdle for any of the implementations, even if there was a way to build a network complex enough to handle multiple users at once, save for the seeing/hearing. But that’s where the Skype-type tech comes in, which is already old tech.
The psychological impact of a technology like this could be groundbreaking for the mental health of a society. Soldiers overseas could interact with their family with their entirety of their senses. Doctors could do emergency consultations and surgeries- it’s not like we don’t already have surgical robots. People could interact with their families more for important moments.
It could become a very affordable technology over time. For people who can’t own the equipment, maybe some kind of rental service that’s more affordable than travel. All the high tech toys we have for everyday use now were once only affordable for people with excess income. So it’s not impossible.
The real question is if the technology of robotic avatars itself is impossible. I’d say no, but it really comes down to funding. And also the cons of the technology, because something like this could easily be abused or used for malicious intent. If it became more advanced you could, say, rob a bank or possibly even murder someone. There’d have to be some kind of untamperable memory or the like (yeah, like the best of the best hackers couldn’t get past that), or coding that inhibits violent or unethical decisions (though that becomes questionable and relative itself, and again, hackers). But hell, I’d love to devote my life to designing something like this regardless if it ever produces any results.
And this is why I typically don’t draw the current state of Von’s tattoos. I suck at keeping things uncluttered, and coloring all that will possibly be hellish.
Damn those suspenders still!
About 80% done with this picture in general. I think I’ll speedpaint the background, because it has the potential to get epically out of hand, and I’m better at keeping things abstract.