Why you should care about the Uncanny Valley

Tanga RobotI am going to make a number of assumptions about a certain group of roboticists. They:

  1. May have heard the term “Uncanny Valley.”
  2. Are vaguely aware that it has something to do with people’s revulsion of certain types of humanoid robots.
  3. Feel the concept of “Uncanny Valley” has nothing to do with them, because they deal with “real” robots, not those faddish, impractical, Japanese human imitation contraptions.

If the above describes you, guess what? You are wrong; the “Uncanny Valley” may impact your work, and sooner than you think.

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AMREL Quality Award

Quality awardAMREL recently received a certificate from Chemring Detection Systems for our “Outstand Quality & Delivery Performance.” Quality is important for all businesses, but it is especially critical for companies like ours that do a lot of customization. We can’t just talk a good game about pleasing our clients; we have to deliver. We know we have been doing a good job. Still, it’s nice to be recognized.

Tablets rule, for now

It may be hard to remember all the way back to 2010, but when the iPad was first introduced, no one was sure if the public would actually adopt it.  “People already have a smartphone and a laptop,” ran a common refrain, “What’s the point of another mobile form factor?”

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The Death of Keyboards & the Japanese Experience

Are keyboards dead?  In view of their ubiquity, and proven usefulness, this may seem to be an absurd question, but some people are considering this possibility. The success of the keyboard-less iPad in penetrating the business market was one of 2011’s big surprises. Also, in an interview in the IEEE Spectrum, journalist Sally Wiener-Grotta noted the impressive number of stylus interfaces on display at the recent Consumer Electronics Show (CES). She even cites studies that claim that when we use handwriting input, “… we absorb information better and we express information better…” Read more