2017’s New Fleet of Robots Are Wilder Than Ever Before
BY: BENJAMIN "BENJI" KARMIS | IMAGE BY MARK PARISELLA
There is no denying that robots are our future. Now that’s we’re accepting the facts, innovators are working overtime to bring us technology that will truly help us any way we need. Just this year alone, new robots have been created in hopes of making our lives easier, at home, in the bedroom, and on the streets.
AT HOME: BRETT
We’ve all had our WiFi randomly killed without any warning. Wouldn’t it be nice if our routers and modems were able to fix the problem themselves when the internet gets disconnected? The Berkeley Robot for the Elimination of Tedious Tasks, also known by its stage name BRETT, is learning to do something like that. BRETT’s robotic superpower is his ability to learn by himself and without specific guidance, in a way a toddler does. BRETT may fail dozens of times while attempting to do something as simple as fitting two oversized Legos together, but it learns every time it fails until it can get it right. This will be essential for robots of the future because, eventually robots will be able to fine-tune their own programming better than humans will be able to. Let’s just hope BRETT doesn’t get as creepy as the Facebook AIs that developed their own indecipherable language.
IN THE BEDROOM: TRUECOMPANION
As if these “interactive” cuddle pillows weren’t a shameful enough of a concept in the first place, sex robots are also to blame for population decline. But it gets worse. Robot “companion” manufacturer TrueCompanion sells a $10k “Roxxxy” variant that can be programmed with a resistance setting makes it unappreciative of any sexual advances made on it. Though TrueCompanion denies these claims, most agree that such a setting is basically allowing a simulation of rape, claiming it provides rapists with a safe outlet. Maybe we should just leave Roxxxy in 2017.
ON THE STREETS: KNIGHTSCOPE
Though some robots may encourage crime, others do the opposite. California-based Knightscope is a lead developer in crime-fighting robots, founded after the Boston Marathon Bombings in 2013 because they believed robots could have prevented the attack by detecting concealed weapons automatically. Places like Dubai are already using some of Knightscope’s robots, and despite a few existential crises they’ve had (one drowned itself), they’ve generally received favorable reviews. Hopefully in the future, these robots can track down those sketchy Roxxxy users.