By 2050, the organizers of RoboCup want to develop a team of fully autonomous humanoid robots that can beat the human world champion team in soccer. Like human forms of play, robot play is far from pointless. A hard-playing robot is not much different than a hard-working robot.
In their new book Robots in Space, Roger Launius of the National Air and Space Museum and Howard McCurdy of American University breathe new life into the subject by examining its history as well as its possible future. They call for a new vision of human spaceflight—a “ transhuman ” program that takes into account current trends in robotics, artificial intelligence, genetic engineering.