intrek38 wrote:No robots should ever be aloud on trail, IMOP...
I really do think the day will come when we can choose a robotic device rather than an animal. I know there are those who say robots should not be allowed. I think of it this way, if 50 years for now one could have an electric device, perhaps powered by an ultracapacitor rather than a battery, capable of following the human and actually doing less damage to the trail than the human, and which did not drop scat on the trail, what is the objection? Some will make appeal to the aesthetics, some will claim it is not natural. Well, we already use all kinds of stuff that isn't natural-synthetic insulation, stoves, GPS devices, heck almost all the gear we use isn't natural, but it helps us have lower impact on the land. Stoves leave the land in better shape than fires. Sleeping pads and bags do far less damage than building fires, heating cobble, burying the hot cobble, cutting and laying boughs over them for a night's sleep the way trappeurs used to do. Rather than the Danger Will Robinson
robot from Lost in Space
or the anthropomorphic C3PO
, I would envision a low profile device designed to pick its way along the trail with less impact than the human foot. I would be willing to limit the robot to the same trails to which pack animals are limited, but why prevent those who are growing old from continuing to enjoy the back country? I couldn't still be out there had SUL gear not come along. Youngsters who say, Well if you're too old to haul your own weight you shouldn't be out there
, you just wait; your time will come. You will either grow old and wish you could still backpack, or you will die before you get old. Besides, if I had a choice between a 75 lb. low impact machine to carry my stuff, or a 600 lb. animal that munches plants and drops scat all over the place, it just seems like a no brainer. As for those who just laugh at the idea as silly, for how many hundred thousand years did humans think the idea of themselves flying was silly? Two years ago, my daughter's team robot had to be able to drive anywhere on a basketball court, use accelerometers and computer to determine correct trajectory, then launch a basketball through the net. Last year it had to be able to climb to the top of a pile of rubble, site a frisbee golf goal, then launch the frisbee, landing it in the goal. We are on the cusp of the robotics age. For those who still object...ya know, if I were rich, I believe it actually would be legal for me to just fly a helicopter from campsite to campsite. Don't think many purists would like that. Wouldn't a robot be better?