When I first became involved in software and service development in the early 90s, developers felt that a bright future lay before them for their daily work. These were times in which operating systems and communications protocol were becoming standardized, and software and services evolved into phenomena capable of propelling society. However, the more I worked on development, the more aware I became of its limitations. I came to realize that if we don’t work to develop hardware along with software, we will not be able to invent any truly creative products. I am sure any developers who are reading this will understand what I mean. And they will probably also empathize about the major hurdles that stood in the way of implementation.
As computer systems become more sophisticated, their degree of completion as platforms has also increased. With architecture becoming modular, developers are taking initiative to further their expertise, while also expanding their work scales and re-acknowledging the correctness of platform introduction. However, we must not overlook the drawbacks. An environment in which we can throw ourselves into our field of specialty may end up taking away the developers imagination. As platforms become more and more mature, some developers have started to fear the complications involved in “overcoming barriers,” and let go of opportunities to come up with ideas for the overall picture that lies beyond the barrier. In fact, I was once one of these developers myself.
But one day, I came across something called an “automaton.” This is basically a spring-driven puppet, which could be considered one of the first robots. It contains a simple program to drive its movements. The “creative fusion between hardware and software” which modern developers have come to forget was valiantly undertaken by their forefathers 200 years ago. And the creations they made were not only loved by people of their own generation. They continue to wow children of the 21st century. These beautiful automata had an incredible impact on me, and presented me with a new revelation: that things which have been achieved in the past are not impossible for the 21st century.