The upskirting law

Robot love

There’s a fun story over at Space.com about how NASA engineers bond emotionally with the Mars space probes they build. My favorite part? When the scientists muse over their individual temperaments:

Although the NASA robots are mechanized twins at birth, each has a distinct personality, Wallace observed.

Undergoing testing here on Earth prior to Mars sendoff, Wallace felt that Spirit exhibited a tendency to be less well-behaved, the more adventurous of the two vehicles. “Opportunity tended to kind of toe the lineā€¦a little more staying inside the lines,” he related.

Not so crazy when you consider there are people out there who name their cars, of course.

(Thanks to Slashdot for this one!)

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I'm Clive Thompson, the author of Smarter Than You Think: How Technology is Changing Our Minds for the Better (Penguin Press). You can order the book now at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Powells, Indiebound, or through your local bookstore! I'm also a contributing writer for the New York Times Magazine and a columnist for Wired magazine. Email is here or ping me via the antiquated form of AOL IM (pomeranian99).

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