Sunday, October 4, 2009

Transformers - The Integration of Robots Into Our Society

It is only a few days before the release of the upcoming sequel Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen and the theaters are now being filled with trailers trying to hype us with a lot of computer-generated imagery from the best 3D animation studios of Hollywood. With director Michael Bay in the helm and a bigger budget there will be more robots for the viewers to see.

Central to the film is the antagonistic Megatron which will be revived as a tank this time around. Megatron was once an aircraft and his transformation into a tank qualifies him as a possible candidate as a Triple Changer - the highest level of Transformers which can transform into three types. Triple Changers are very interesting subjects for case study about the versatility of Transformers. Seeing how many people are adopting multi-tasking in their lives with the fast pace of urban living, it would be interesting how the concept of a Transformer or even a Triple Changer can be integrated into everyday life.

There are many things to be considered when integrating Transformers in society, seeing how in the actual films the Autobots are trying their best to hide from humans. When one comes to think about it, the reason Transformers adopt the forms of vehicles and aircrafts is for the robots to have a disguise in the first place. So there is a lot of suspension of disbelief to be had in order to entertain the thought. But the technology is very enticing and it tickles the imagination. What if humans can have possession of a Triple Changer which can transform into two modes of transportation? Then more than likely, the choices will be to cover the land and the air.

Though this may be practical for the owner of the Transformer, this may have significant ramifications to the state of traffic not only in the land and in the air. Can this form of transportation even be regulated by a government? To stick with the mythology of the cartoon animation series, one does not have to possess boatload amounts of money in order to have access to an Autobot. They come from their dying planet Cybertron and can become very friendly with people. What if a huge delegation of Autobots came here to Earth? Well that's fun and all but that can be very chaotic.

There may be worries about how governments can practice their sovereignty when Transformers come barging into societies. But mainly this thought is voided when the Autobots are engaged in a fierce struggle with Decepticons. Any notion of order and peace should be dialed down the drain in this scenario.

So increasing our suspension of disbelief further, we should consider the technology of a transforming automobile without the sentient consciousness of a Transformer. This one will definitely involve obscene amounts of money in order to accomplish and it is a long shot that it will take over public transport systems. More likely, this technology will only be enjoyed by a select few with the fame and fortune to waste away on such a lucrative opportunity. After all, how can the owners of such a technology park their transforming automobile? It is highly possible that there will be people out there intent on stealing this technology.

This is why we have science fiction. Apart from the stunning explosions and visual effects a viewer can witness in the movies, it leaves room to think about how such possibilities can affect our society. Imagination may be a good undertaking but as wise men say: be careful what we wish for.


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