…Now I want to see Skin Horse Noir.
“She was the kind of doll who always has a wind-up robot assassin in her purse…”
Or she could create a wind-up clank out of spare parts and a blender.
(cue sax music)
Female intuition strikes again! ^_^
Cherchez la femme.
He’s not hanging ’round Whimsyworld, is he?
No. Probably hangin’ with the Cypress.
Friday the Thirteenth fell on a Monday this month…
There’s really no reason that Virginia couldn’t manufacture a drone for Nick that looks like human Nick. After all, she has access to the Violet Bee drone for study. Bubbles would probably be happy to help, as long as Virginia’s examinations were non-destructive. Nick appeared to enjoy driving the Violet Bee drone, considering it allowed him to go places the Osprey couldn’t.
The drone is pretty simplistic, though. It probably doesn’t have much in the way of haptics and tactile feedback. It has the basic shape and motor functionality of a human body, but it doesn’t have all the little details we humans are used to, and which we take for granted.
Think about the feel of your bedsheets and blankets when you lay down to sleep. Think about the sensation of warm water and humid air when you take a hot shower. Think about the taste of your favorite foods, the smell of your significant other’s hair, the indescribable tingling of the spine you get when you’re excited or nervous. Think about every little biological sensation you’ve ever had.
Drones can’t do any of that.
You touch a hot stove, and a thermal sensor in your hand tells you, “Warning: The object you are currently touching is extremely hot.”, but you don’t actually -feel- the heat.
You run your fingers through someone’s hair, and you can tell you’re touching something and meeting slight physical resistance, but the fine texture is lost almost entirely.
You encounter a mortal danger that your brain registers as a scary threat, but you no longer have 90% of your endocrine system, so unless your brain-jar is equipped with a means to flood your brain with hormones like adrenaline, you physically cannot experience a biological fear response, only a sort of detached psychological dread.
And even if you have a hormone dispenser, it has to be calibrated very finely and carefully, or you’ll end up getting too much or too little of the appropriate hormones, producing responses that are either too strong or too weak, like being only slightly concerned about iminent death, or suffering full blown depression over a minor disappointment.
All true. Think also of the strides in digital tech, and the understanding of how the brain works. Multiply that by her level of determination and desire for pleasure. And then consider the universe they inhabit. It’s worth a go. Visit
Indeed. Eyes do more than see.
Also the drone didn’t have nipples for some reason.
What? That’s almost as important as all those other things, right?
Yeah, Nick said the drone was built like a ironing board, way too low rez. But he decided to leave it because inside, he felt like he was a helicopter, not a man. A helicopter who is fascinated by by lady parts, of course.
Aren’t they all?
Almost certainly true of early drones.
Is there any reason all those sensations etc. can’t eventually be built in?
For certain large values of “eventually”, no. For other smaller ones, absolutely yes.
The human nervous system is insanely complex. There are more than 125 trillion synapses just in the cerebral cortex alone.
Yes, in theory you could map the whole thing and recreate it artificially – given enough money, researchers, and decades of non-stop study and experimentation. But even then you have to worry about the actual technological limits of the drone body.
Processing the data required for a 1:1 real-time replication of the human nervous system would require mind boggling amounts of processing power. Our current technology absolutely cannot even come close to achieving those levels in a form factor anywhere near the size of a human being. Heat management alone would be essentially insurmountable, to say nothing of the incredible power usage, fabrication difficulties, and hardware failure rates.
You’d basically need to condense one or more Google server farms down to the size of a 5 foot tall slender woman, and keep it constantly connected to a dedicated power plant, and somehow teleport the excess heat out into space or something, at which point you no longer have a mere “drone”.
And all of this doesn’t even include our ability to create suitable environmental sensors for the body! Sure, we could maybe process all the incredible amounts of data somehow, but with a robot body you need to have incredibly delicate sensing equipment on every millimeter of the body’s surface with which to CREATE all of that data in order to be able to transmit it to the brain!
Human flesh contains an incredibly vast network of biological sensors, constantly responding to an absolute flood of ever-changing physical stimuli. We have untold billions and trillions of nerve endings in our skin, capable of detecting and responding to absurdly slight changes in pressure, temperature, moisture, et cetera. Our skin alone is a miraculous super material weave that no science on earth can artificially replicate.
Keep in mind also neuroplasticity and phantom limb syndrome. I’ve heard stories of people fitted with artificial arms equipped with limited forms of temperature and touch sensors who learn to use the prosthetics as though they were extensions of their own flesh & blood bodies, because their brains rewired themselves into thinking of the sensations transmitted from transducers embedded in the prosthetic so that they would come in contact with the skin over the stump where the original limb was as if those signals were coming directly from the limb’s sensors themselves.
Rather than trying to perfectly recreate natural skin, with all its varied sensory nerves, all we’d really need to do is to create some kind of sensory system that can interface with the user’s brain, either directly through neural chips or indirectly through transducer-to-skin contact and let the wearer learn how to interpret the signals themself.
Besides, if I recall correctly, much of our nervous system consists of signal processing and filtering, deciding how much input to pass on directly to the brain and how much can be handled locally through reflex action. Rather than requiring sophisticated neural analogues, all you’d really need are some sufficiently complex feedback loops and signal processors–and if these sorts of things are possible with real-life technology, imagine what a mad scientist in the Narbonverse could create!
Yeah except for one thing, all those sensations are is electrical signals in the brain. It wouldn’t take too much work to translate that “warning: object is hot” alert into a sensation of real heat… in fact in order to convincingly trick nick into believing his virtual environment was real such a system would already have to have been in place and all it would take is corrisponding the new signals to the original framework.
Also as to the comment about data throughput and supermaterials you have to remember, the world of skinhorse isn’t our world. So the answer to your complications is rather simple. A mad scientist did it. Heck, it might be an opportunity to see Dave again, he could probably do it.
In other words, Mad Science!
“Drones can’t do any of that.” This strikes me as a rather presumptuous remark. Hmph.
Dr Walske strikes again.
It’s always a woman.
Unless you are a woman. Then, it is always a man. Unless you are living in “Jane’s World.” Then, no matter what you are, its always a woman.
Except for a couple guys who seem completely worthless.
Could be like “Wapsi Square,” where the kids have a plethora of aunts but a dearth of uncles…
Wow, I haven’t thought about Wapsi Square for a few years now.
I used to love that comic, but it went from being an intriguing mystery story with a fun cast of believeable characters in a curious setting, to being a bloated mess of unresolved story threads with all the memorable characters turned into intolerable Mary Sues conducting nonstop fanservice.
I *wish* it was always a woman: I hate it when it’s the automobile engine or the local mob.
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