As Soon As Google Interfaces With My Toaster, We’re All Dead…
For those of you who have followed this blog for some time, you are probably aware that I am known around my college as Old Lady. “Why is that?”, you ask? It may be for the simple reason that I prefer Green Tea to coffee; perhaps it’s the fact that I usually prefer reading scary stories (like Anne’s) in actual books as opposed to those on my eReader, or maybe even because I use words like “moxie” (see paragraph on Leo Plass in this post).
Either way, this “old lady” decided to find out what’s new in the world of technology and came across some both stunning and disturbing videos that I decided to share with those in my office. Upon watching them, one of my colleagues responded by saying that Google is basically equivalent in power to The Terminator and as soon as it’s able to interface with his toaster, we’re all dead.
Once you finish this post, you, too, will agree, and you’ll wish that you could go back to the good ol’ days before you ever knew this stuff existed…well, that or you will want to become one of the developers. I don’t know.
So, friends, I give you: “As Soon As Google Interfaces With My Toaster, We’re All Dead…” (or “The Creepiest Things I’ve Ever Seen in My Life” – not sure which title is more accurate).
1 ) Big Dog
This robot is both amazing and creepy for the exact same reasons. It is able to walk over any terrain, it can regain its balance (even if it has been kicked), and can walk on icy pavement much better than I can. The technology behind this robot, courtesy of Boston Dynamics, is unbelievable…it also freaks me out because if it comes at me some day, I want to be able to kick it over and then outrun it on ice! Imagine seeing this thing in the woods…
2 ) Shape-Shifting Robot Blob
Just the name alone creeps me out. I mean, the words “robot” and “blob” should never be in the same sentence, unless the sentence reads, “Hey…we should never make a robot blob”. This thing looks like a brain and can expand and deflate at will, and has the ability to move itself into small spaces. Yeah, ’cause that’s what I want…a robot who can think for itself, shape-shifting it’s brain-like blobby self under my doorway and wandering around my house.
The first part of this video describes how the robot blob actually works, but if you just want to see it in action, watch the clip from 1:50 on.
3 ) PetMan
As if Big Dog wasn’t enough, the good people of Boston Dynamics decided to also bring us PetMan. Now, they tell you that
he it he it (is it an “it” or a “he”??) was developed to “test special clothing used by US Military personnel”, but you just watch this video and try to convince me of that – it looks like The Terminator…with a red light bulb for a head (I guess they thought adding a head to it would up the ante of the creepiness factor. I’ve got news for you, Boston Dynamics…too late! It’s already freaky.
I mean, if this thing decides to turn on you one day, there’s no way you’ll be able to out-run or out-smart it. Also, I’m pretty sure it’s made of Adamantium, so it’ll be like trying to fight off Wolverine (<— comics reference especially for you, Cocca).
4 ) A Mind-Reading Headset
Have you ever been playing your XBox or your PS3 and thought to yourself, “Self…this is just too much work. Hitting all of these buttons exerts far too much energy. I wish that there was a way I could just sit on my couch, stare at my screen, and control this game with my mind”? Well, good news. Now you can!
Is there anyone else out there who thinks that the last thing we need to give these computers is access to our brains? No? Just me, then?
5 ) Hatsune Miku
To be honest, this one doesn’t really creep me out, but I do think it’s bizarre. Hatsune Miku is 5ft 2, looks to be about 16 years of age, and plays sold-out concerts. She is one of Japan’s top-selling entertainers. She sings, she dances, and she’s just so darn cute…all looking like an anime character and stuff. Oh wait…did I forget to mention that she’s a hologram? And that she sings via software from Vocaloid?
Thank you Crypton Future Media!
6 ) Lockheed Martin HULC Exoskeleton
The whole purpose of this exoskeleton is to “ease a soldier’s load by temporarily turning him into a robot”. Am I the only one who sees a problem with that sentence?
Evidently, Iron Man is real…
7 ) RIBA – The Teddy Bear Robo-Nurse
I have to applaud Toyota Motor Corp. on its ingenuity and forward-thinking. Clearly, the population of Japan has exploded and there is a limited number of people able to or willing to take care of the nation’s elderly. Toyota has a cure-all for this problem…the robo-nurse. The developers state that they designed the robot to resemble a teddy bear so it would be non-threatening. Really. Because if I woke up in the middle of the night and saw that face in my room, I would freak out and hit it with a bat until that smile-moustache-thingy on its face was completely demolished.
This robot can pick up a human being and move it.
I find that very threatening. Very threatening, indeed.
8 ) Robot Girlfriend
And now, I give you the pièce de résistance in creepy robotics…the Robot Girlfriend. She is designed to smile at you, converse with you, laugh at all of your lame jokes, and…oh yeah…blink. Apparently, if a robot doesn’t blink, it freaks people out a little too much; they find it extremely uncanny. So, this one has been programmed to blink so as not to alarm you.
As soon as I got to 1:33 in the video, I knew that my day was ruined. I’m trying to remember a time in my life before I saw a robots eyes shift around like that…and I can’t. It’s all I can think of now.
I miss the days of Green Tea, using words like “moxie” and “huzzah” (though I’m not the only one – thank you Den!), and assuring myself that robots will never take over the world. I have no doubt that Google is interfacing with my toaster this very minute…
Do you find these videos disturbing or amazing?
Are you excited about the leaps that technology is making?
Do you think companies should take a step back and evaluate what they’re doing before moving forward even more so?
Filed under: College, IT, Technology | 56 Comments
Tags: Boston Dynamics, Education, hologram, Japan, robot, Technology