Tuesday, November 27, 2007
A NEW THREAT ON THE HORIZON
Ladies and gentlemen, prepare yourselves. The Stepford Wife is here...
TOKYO (Reuters) - A pearly white robot that looks a little like E.T. boosted a man out of bed, chatted and helped prepare his breakfast with its deft hands in Tokyo Tuesday, in a further sign robots are becoming more like their human inventors.
Twendy-One, named as a 21st century edition of a previous robot, Wendy, has soft hands and fingers that gently grip, enough strength to support humans as they sit up and stand, and supple movements that respond to human touch. It can pick up a loaf of bread without crushing it, serve toast and help lift people out of bed.
"It's the first robot in the world with this much system integration," said Shigeki Sugano, professor of mechanical engineering at Waseda University, who led the Twendy-One project and demonstrated the result on Tuesday.
The robot is a little shorter than an average Japanese woman at 1.5 m (5 ft), but heavy-set at 111 kg (245 lb). Its long arms and a face shaped like a giant squashed bean mean it resembles the alien movie character E.T. The robot put toast on a plate and fetched ketchup from a fridge when asked, after greeting its patient for the demonstration with a robotic "good morning" and "bon appetit."
But for now, it is still a work in progress. Twendy-One has just 15 minutes of battery life and its computer-laden back has a tendency to overheat after each use.
Okay--this is making me a bit nervous. Maybe I'm a Luddite, but think about it. This robot:
1. Has soft hands that gently grip
2. Will fetch ketchup from the fridge when asked
3. Offers a cheery "good morning"
I'm just grateful this bitch overheats after each use because even with a face like a giant squashed bean, she has the potential to really fuck up the already dismal dating pool. As much as I hate to say it, I know plenty of men who would be happy with Twendy-One. She can grip his dick gently, provide him with ketchup for his fries and says "good morning" instead of:
"I can't watch another fucking episode of C.S.I. Why don't we never go anywhere?"
"Your feet stink."
"I can't believe you're going to vote for Mitt Romney."
This robotic menace must be stopped before it's too late...