Forget more money in your pocket. A little-noticed but impressive feature of this year's Federal Budget is funding for robots that will run around museums doing your bidding. We love this, obviously.
Here's the full spiel from the budget papers:
The Government will provide $2.4 million over two years from 2011‑12 (including $0.4 million in capital funding in 2011‑12 and $0.02 million in 2012‑13) to provide online remote access to national cultural institutions to help demonstrate the opportunities offered by the National Broadband Network (NBN). Using the high bandwidth capability of the NBN, visitors will be able to undertake virtual tours of these institutions via mobile robots. Users will be able to engage and interact with local visitors and tour guides and will be provided with a range of additional on‑screen information to enhance their experience.
What we're really looking forward to is the inevitable movie where someone hacks a museum robot and uses it to steal a highly valuable cultural artefact. Titles, anyone?