5 Real Robots Built To Love You... To Death
Everybody knows robots can't love. It is their greatest failing as human analogues, their most profound tragedy as thinking entities and possibly their ultimate undoing (depending on whether or not they're facing the Care Bears that day). But science doesn't like to be told what they can, can't or just plain shouldn't do, so they're giving it a shot anyway: Here are five robots intended to either feel human emotions, inspire human emotions, or through their actions otherwise care for us in our hours of need.
Notice I say that's what they're “intended for.” All they actually do is murder the part of your mind responsible for registering danger, so that you will never feel safe again.
Robots That Teach Us How to Love
"YES. MORE JUICE. OBEY THE SADISTIC WHIMS OF YOTARO."Also, please notice the phrasing in Mr. Kunimura's quote: “Trigger human emotions… so humans want…” Notice at no point does he say “we” or “ours” – he says “human” and “humans,” as though he is totally disconnected from our species. When the tsunami of babies finally jams Yotaro's Flesh Harvesting Core and this terrible apocalypse is at last averted, just try to act surprised when Hiroki Kunimura rips off his mask to reveal another glowing, dead-eyed porcelain moonface and starts sweeping his sonic deathscreams over the gathered crowd.
Robots That Take Care of Us
"I've got it! What if we combined all the lovableness of clowns, with the unblinking stare of a shark?"Also, he's meant to be used by old people. That's right: At last there's a robot for the demographic that's afraid of remote controls and simply “doesn't trust the look” of the TiVo. And to help further set their minds at ease, they built it to look like the mascot from
Robots That Rescue Us When We're in TroubleBattlefield Extraction Assist Robot, or BEAR for short, is built to carry wounded troops in inaccessible areas away to safety without further risking human life. The U.S. military put serious consideration into this design, carefully crafting a head that would put already traumatized soldiers at ease. And what comforts tough military men wounded in the heat of battle? Teddy Bears. Specifically, giant steel Teddy Bears with no fur. Giant steel Teddy Bears with alien features and whirring, double-jointed spider legs instead of soft, comforting fur.
Robots That Can Feelan open-source robot officially funded by the EU, is more of a platform for robotic learning than a specific, task-based machine. And on that platform sits a bug-eyed chihuahua, the creepy child from any horror movie that “just wants to play” and the uncaring bare steel skeleton of the Terminator.
"Soon. Soooon..."The iCub is (and keep in mind that, though the emphasis is mine, the following words are all from the inventors themselves) designed to be "capable of locomotion, interaction and language learning, track objects visually or even by sound, learn emotionally like a child,
Look at that thing: Even it knows that it should not be.I will give you all a moment to digest what you've just seen, possibly scream for a bit, send your children to the neighbor's house, pour yourself three fingers of scotch, purchase a firearm and periodically place it in your mouth while sobbing uncontrollably, desperately searching for the strength within yourself to pull the trigger. All done? Then let's continue: Ishiguro says he built the Repliee R-1 to “study human behavior in reacting to robots,” and to see what happens when “people meet the uncanny valley.” So in other words, he built it to be disturbing as hell on purpose, and wants little more than to see what you'd look like all curled up in the fetal position, and covered in urine. Now, I could throw my stupid words at you for hours in an attempt to truly convey the Sistine Chapel of Horribleness that Professor Ishiguro has wrought here, but really, you should just look at some photos from the press release:
You can buy Robert's book, Everything is Going to Kill Everybody: The Terrifyingly Real Ways the World Wants You Dead, or find him on Twitter, Facebook and his own site, I Fight Robots or you can just quit life, right now. Just give your two weeks and leave before science starts in with whatever horror they're going to mechanize next. Probably spiders. Almost certainly spiders.