Context: Graceful robotic swifts take flight in latest Festo demo
Fascinating technologies. We should perhaps not be all that surprised when these technologies approach (if asymptotically) the neurophysiological and anatomical metabolic efficiencies and long-evolved adaptive aptitudes and spontaneous information-entropy-generation of living systems. Work is already and clearly being done in this area.
Long-range blue-skies thinking in this conceptual space is that engineered systems eventually not only become indistinguishable from living systems, they effectively become them. Even longer range, the higher (extended) ends of the Kardashev Scale suggest that sufficiently sophisticated technologies might become indistinguishable from material reality itself.
Where does that actually (potentially) go for what limited concepts, cognitive powers, material tool sets and physics we currently have at our disposal? Don’t imagine that the engineering implausibility of any problem – say complex chains of quantum spin-linked sensor networks that extend as fields through atmospheric systems – is an impossible problem to solve nor that “impossible” really represents anything other that an unsolved engineering problem (or theorem) of as yet incomprehensible logical complication.
Think big. Dream bigger.