[Server-sky] predictive/adaptive telepresence, on the moon and in your yard

Michael Turner michael.eugene.turner at gmail.com
Thu Jul 11 01:19:38 UTC 2013

The Project Persephone concept of exovivarium


faces "orbital telecommute" challenges. In LEO the predictive haptics
problem is probably negligible. It won't be negligible if exovivaria
are eventually hosted on the moon, however. Or even as near as GEO.

The idea of "telecommuting physical labor" to get things done in the
sky would, of course, have applications (and solve political problems)
on Earth, as Keith points out. Here in Japan, I often see workers
climbing telephone poles to string yet more cable. The profusion of
which being something that must be seen to be believed.


It strikes me every time I see it: this is dangerous work, for which
human bodies are not optimal, even when young (and Japan is aging.)
Somebody in Bangladesh could be teleoperating a more appropriate
device that climbs the pole -- one that can even climb along the
wires. It might be slower by half than a human body operated directly
through a brainstem, but ... you're paying only cost of capital for
robotics (which is low, in Japan) plus Bangladesh labor rates. And
paying out less in workers comp.

I'm not sure there's any signal delay threshold below which predictive
haptics ceases to add value, for cross-globe communications. Even
terrestrial fiber (which is undoubtedly how my notional Bangladeshi
operates a telebotic hand in Tokyo) incurs delays that might make a
difference. Server Earth may well precede Server Sky.

Michael Turner

Project Persephone
K-1 bldg 3F
7-2-6 Nishishinjuku
Shinjuku-ku Tokyo 160-0023
Tel: +81 (3) 6890-1140
Fax: +81 (3) 6890-1158
Mobile: +81 (90) 5203-8682
turner at projectpersephone.org

"Love does not consist in gazing at each other, but in looking outward
together in the same direction." -- Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

On Thu, Jul 11, 2013 at 5:52 AM, Keith Lofstrom <keithl at kl-ic.com> wrote:
> A proposed application for server sky:
> Humans process a lot more input than output.  Our outputs are
> chemical and movement;  typing and walking and talking are all
> muscle movements, and we do that slowly.  Listening and looking
> and feeling and smelling are a lot higher bandwidth.
> Server sky provides asymmetric bandwidth;  assuming a cheap ground
> terminal, it is a lot easier to send gigabits down than send megabits
> up.  That matches the ratio of what we sense versus what we emit.
> Imagine a small humanoid robot on the moon.  The ping time to the
> robot is 2.5 seconds;  if you are in a haptic control suit driving
> that robot so that it mimics your body movements, what you would
> see with its eye-cameras would be very delayed versus what you
> saw if you were there.  Control would be difficult.
> But that robot (and its environment) has been there for a long
> time.  Whatever you swivel your head to look at is already there,
> and the images could have been sent long before you move your
> head, and combined with the predicted changed state that results
> from your actions.
> What matters is that what you see and sense is the same as what
> you would sense if you were there, and that is quite predictable.
> You only need feedback from the moon to provide adaptive
> information to improve subsequent predictions.
> You (in the haptic suit and controlling the robot) pick up a rock
> and pound on it with a hammer until it breaks open.  Before you
> pick up this never-before-touched rock, the system feeding you
> sensory data doesn't know what it weighs or how fragile it is,
> so it can't provide proper haptic feedback to respond immediately
> to your movement.  But imagine that the system provides the
> experience of the rock sticking in the ground for a few seconds,
> while in reality the rock is picked up and weighed.  The feedback
> you get might not be "accurate", but plausible and resulting your
> making accurate judgements and appropriate future moves.  The same
> for breaking the rock open; the robot might break the rock open on
> the second blow, which seems like the fourth blow to you.  As long
> as you don't try to screw up the illusion by acting erratically,
> what you sense will be a plausible result of what you do, and you
> can use your human judgement to perform useful tasks and learn
> from what you do as if you were on the moon yourself.
> In the beginning, server sky computation and communication won't
> be mediating robots on the moon.  Instead, it might be mediating
> robotic lawn mowers in the US controlled by telepresence "migrant
> workers" in Guatemala.  The image of your property and the state
> of your lawn has been uploaded over hours and days previous to
> the work; all that needs uploading during the job is the diffs,
> such as children and pets.  The worker might need to make more
> mental effort than they would if they were working here, but they
> wouldn't be worrying about the INS and their family back home,
> so there would be more attention available for the task at hand,
> and they can move from jobsite to jobsite at the speed of light.
> The robot lawn mower scenario may be done in a limited way with
> the terrestrial fiber internet we have now.  That fiber is limited,
> expensive, and unreliable in the regions where the migrant workers
> live today.  The system may not be very profitable without better
> infrastructure, but we could start developing it now and learn
> how to turn a buck.  When server sky launches and provides more
> bandwidth and computation with less infrastructure, there will
> be another existing market to expand at Moore's law rates.
> This can solve a number of thorny problems.  In the current US
> political climate, undocumented immigrants go through hell to
> work here, while feeding the bigotry of those who don't understand
> the vital role they play in the US economy and their own native
> country.  With systems like this, they can come here to work and
> learn and participate and purchase without leaving home and family.
> Meanwhile, we have a complete record of what they do, and can block
> undesirable action with the touch of a button.  Brainless bigots
> might still hate them, but they won't be here to beat bloody.
> Server sky is an extension of what we can do here with massive
> computation and communication.  If we are confident that we can
> continue to expand computation without damaging the earth or
> using up available resources, we can embark on businesses and
> applications that might be too risky or limited if we are stuck
> with terrestrial resource limits forever.
> Keith
> --
> Keith Lofstrom          keithl at keithl.com         Voice (503)-520-1993
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