Our Robots Are Getting a Little Weird

Okay people. Our robots are starting to get a little weird.

Don’t get me wrong. I have all the respect in the world for our mechanoid counterparts. They save lives, go to space, and perform surgeries day in and day out — way more than I can say for myself. They also star in some of the best science fiction around, and seriously: the Roomba‘s pretty much the cutest vacuum cleaner on the market.

But let’s just look at the list of recent robotic arrivals here, which I have taken the liberty of arranging in order of tamest to things-I-never-thought-I’d-write.

Throwable Robot: handles like a grenade, functions like a videographer. Very useful in, say, military contexts (what it was designed for anyway).

Jeopardy Winning Robot: Ouch, our collective human pride … and on national TV, too.

Bird Shooing Robot: Okay. I see the point, I really do. But doesn’t it look like it should be stationed outside of a used car lot?

Benign Hugging Robot: Simple: you hug the robot, your vest hugs you back.

Other Kind of Hugging Robot: I … I don’t … know what to say. Please promise me this is not the future.

Cookie Baking Robot: This is this far down the list not because I think it’s odd (even though it is), it’s just that I never thought I’d write these words because I never thought dreams really came true.

Rescue Worm Robot: The name pretty much says it all here. Rescue robot, inspired by worms. Oh, and printed out of a 3-D printer.

Love Robot: When this showed up on my radar, I was so taken aback by the complete bizarreness of it that I felt compelled to share it with my officemate (because what else do you do with that sort of news?). His alarmed “Uh, I don’t do love robots,” was in earshot longer than his retreating back was visible. It’s not that kind of love, people; I know when to add a NSFW, and this is not that time. This is more like R2D2 cross-bred with a needy puppy.

Armpit Smell Robot: Case in point: words I never thought I’d write.

I am absolutely positive that there are other, equally, if not even more bizarre robots out there right now with so many more to come in the future. Dear readers: What say you? Any predictions?