Robots and Art

Part of the series Cognitive Science and Technology pp 67-86


Robotics: Hephaestus Does It Again

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After browsing through half a century of robotics research, the chapter emphasizes on motion autonomy as the key attribute of robots. The presentation follows a guiding thread inspired by an ancient myth accounting for the universally debated relationship between science and technology. In Greek mythology, Hephaestus was a talented craftsman. Enamoured with Athena, he attempted to seduce her, in vain. The goddess of “knowing” withstood the advances of the god of “doing”. Robotics stems from this tension. Although the myth contradicts a current tendency to confuse science and technology, it nevertheless reflects the experience of the author as a roboticist.