Commissioner Bill Huang explains how tomorrow’s robots, instead of carrying their own “brains,” will share a single, remote one.

Robots with their Heads in the Clouds

by | Aug 2, 2017 | Insight

Despite the rapid advancement and heavy investment in artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics, we still cannot put a human-like brain in a robot—not now, nor in the foreseeable future. It is a matter of physics.

The human brain is made of bio-circuits with a massive number of interconnecting neurons—about 100 billion of them. Our brain weighs about 1.500 kg (~3.5 lb) and consumes roughly 40 watts of power. Building an equivalent “brain” with today’s most advanced silicon-based digital technology would result in a computer 1 million times heavier that consumes a million times more power! That is equivalent to the power consumption of a medium city of 100,000 homes.

Why such a difference? Our brain circuit conducts current using sodium ions with current measured in pico-amps (10-9 A). A computer circuit, on the other hand, conducts current using electrons, in this case measured in micro-amps (10-6 A). Since power is proportional to… read more


Commissioner Bill Huang is the CEO of CloudMinds, whose mission is to provide affordable household robots by the mid-2020s.  Bill began his career at Bell Labs and is a serial entrepreneur… read more