Skip to main content

Robot Uprising Update: The Future is 'Friendly' Robots... Until They Attach Lasers!

It's been over two years since I last wrote about the inevitable machine uprising and, while Boston Dynamics continues to claim they're not inadvertently trigging the first attack by pushing their robots around with hockey sticks, the future is leaning toward 'friendly' service robots (or at least the robots want you to think they're friendly so you'll casually pass them your laser gun to 'look after').

Honda's Asimo Robot is no more.
Honda's Asimo is no more.
Possibly the most famous 'friendly' robot, Honda's Asimo, is unfortunately no more. Honda shelved further research into human-like, bipedal robots in 2017, though will be using some of their robot technology in things like making it possible for your motorcycle to self balance and follow you around like a puppy dog.

Soft Bank's Pepper Robot Assistant.
Soft Bank's Pepper
Robot Assistant.
Japanese Robot manufacturer, Soft Bank (who as I understand it bought Boston Dynamics and recently sold  an 80% stake to Hyundai), is going from strength to strength with its 'friendly' robot, Pepper. This robot has gone into mass production and is relatively affordable as a personal companion, greeter, or educator, that comes with its own iPad. 

While Pepper's lack of legs means it can still be defeated by a set of stairs (like your evil, scheming, robot vacuum), it still has laser sensors built in, just waiting to be turned up to eleven (I'm guessing that's the melt your face off setting).

Boston Dynamic's Robot Dog Spot can dance.
Boston Dynamic's Robot
Dog Spot can dance.
Boston Dynamic's robot dog, Spot, has also gone into commercial production but, just because it can dance doesn't mean it's friendly. 

When you purchase a Spot robot it comes with a bunch of warning documentation letting you know if you get in its way it'll rip your legs off (probably). That is, it's considered to be more akin to industrial machinery than an alternative to a real pet dog for your young kids.

While Asimo may be no more, UBTech Robotics have created their own similarly styled robot called 'Walker', who is promoted as a domestic assistant. 

At less than a metre and a half tall, it can work safely with humans (that's what the robots want you to think), and probably won't crush your kid if it accidentally fell over on them... because that's never going to happen since it has balance correction capabilities (though I've seen no evidence of one being properly assaulted with hockey sticks by those dummies at Boston Dynamics).

UBTech's Walker Personal Assistant.
UBTech's Walker Personal Assistant contemplating the location
of this family's laser gun cabinet.

It's no coincidence that UBTech's tagline is Bringing a Robot into every home and business, and they also make other service robots that specialize in cleaning (currently safely disinfecting away COVID19 but probably blood stains too once the overrides kick in on their friendly 'Walker' Terminators).

Surena IV is the one on the left with the Gort robot (right) vibes as seen in The Day the Earth Stood Still.
Surena IV is the one on the left with the
Gort robot (right) vibes as seen in
The Day the Earth Stood Still.
The American Society of Robotics has recognized the Iranian Research Humanoid robot, Surena IV, as the most advanced machine of its kind to date.

While it's not yet clear if this robot is intended to be a 'friendly' robot its capabilities are very similar to UBTech's, Walker. Concerningly this robot, in my opinion, is giving off 'Gort' vibes, the killer robot with laser eyes from the 1951 movie, The Day the Earth Stood Still. I'd keep those Boston Dynamics guys and their hockey sticks well away from it!

This article was inspired by the two videos below from the YouTube Channels Curious Droid and Pro Robots. You can see all the robots mentioned (and more) in both videos.

It should be noted that I'm not a robot technophobe and all my posts on the Robot Uprising are purely tongue in cheek. Having said that I do urge any laser gun owners to store them responsibly, locked away from curious robots for everybody's safety.



Buy Gifts and Apparel featuring art by TET.

Popular posts from this blog

How to Transfer Any Line Art to Your Griptape - Easy Skateboard Griptape Art Tutorial

Dog Star Griptape Art by TET Griptape art is once again gaining popularity amongst modern skateboarders. For those of us who have tried to create our own griptape art, using paint pens, you'll know reproducing your design onto the grip, without making any mistakes is incredibly challenging. Mostly because you just have to go for it and draw the design freehand, with paint pens, directly onto the griptape. You can make the odd mistake here or there but if you get the proportions of the design completely wrong, it can be very difficult to fix. Often you just have to live with the mistake. To address the problem I've come up with an easy way anyone can transfer a line art design to their griptape, removing almost all the anxiety of getting the proportions wrong. In fact, you could do this with any line art design, even if you have no drawing skill at all. Watch the video below to see my technique in action and/or skip past the video where I highlight the basic steps to get your de

Skateboard Trick Tips: Two Ways to Ollie North (Ollie One foot)

You have to be quick to see my Ollie Norths! Ollie One Foots, otherwise known as the Ollie North, is one of those skateboard tricks you learn and then tend not to do very much as more interesting trick challenges grab your attention. However it does look really cool if you learn how to kick your front foot well past the nose of your skateboard. Still shot from Braille Skateboarding's Ollie North tutorial. I was inspired to make my video below, showing two different techniques to achieve a successful Ollie One Foot, when I not only saw that Braille Skateboarding's Tutorial used a different method to the one I had learned but also, when I looked at various other video tutorials, I discovered yet another technique, with no one using the method I had originally learned. Braille's method is to simply Ollie and drag your front foot past the front of your board. The second method I came across in several video tutorials is to Ollie, drag your front foot and tap your

Elon Musk Buys Twitter, Launches Twitter Blue... FaceBook Probably Watching Very Closely

Elon Musk in a spaceship sending out a Tweet. Image by David Arandle + Mage.AI Most people who follow the news cycle are probably aware that tech billionaire, Elon Musk, bought the social media giant Twitter . While his overall goal is to make the platform a better experience with fewer bots, he's also invested in turning it into a network that actually makes rather than loses money. After firing a large part of Twitter's workforce, which former CEO, Jack Dorsey, has taken responsibility for by saying he grew the company too fast too soon, Elon launched Twitter Blue . The initial rumored price for Twitter Blue was US$20.00 per month but this has since been revised and set at US$7.99/per month.  Though on my own account in Australia the cost is AU$6.99 per month, which at the current conversion rate means I'm getting a considerable discount. The point of Twitter Blue, aside from offering a number of features not available to those on 'free' accounts, like longer twe

Rock'n'Rolls and My Driveway Skateboard Ramp Building tips

TET Rock'n'Roll attempt on a driveway quarter pipe. Whenever we have a fine sunny day during Winter in Australia I always try to take advantage of it by getting in some skateboarding, even if it's only in the driveway (not that I really skate anywhere else at the moment). In this driveway skateboard session video I didn't really have a plan for what I wanted to try so I started out by revisiting manuals on the world's smallest manual pad. From there I felt like skating my small quarter pipe, which I don't skate often on account of not being able to do anything on it beyond drop-ins and BS 50-50 stalls. However I do kind of feel Rock'n'Rolls are the trick I'm most likely to relearn next so today was the day to give them a real go. As I explain in the video I don't like people who half ass Rock'n'rolls by tapping the middle of the deck on the coping and turning back in. The trick looks super cool when done right with the back trucks pushed

Regardless of Whether You Believe in Climate Change You Should at Least Believe in Better Environmental Practices

Cow burps contribute to greenhouse gases. A beef cow flying through the clouds wearing an open astronaut's helmet. photorealistic. wide angle lens. Dall.e + David Arandle The Australian Government has been in the process of passing some bill that contributes towards meeting some goals on Climate Change that we probably agreed to at least two decades ago at a United Nations Meeting on the issue. I guess? I kind of researched it a little recently.  It's one of those issues I've kind of followed but generally don't like to argue because climate change deniers are some of the most negative and obnoxious people you'll ever come across.  These days climate change is closely linked to energy production and how we generate power because fossil fuel power plants are said to be big emitters of Carbon Dioxide, which contributes to global warming (apparently). Most of Australia's power plants are coal plants, with a small percentage leaning towards renewables like solar and

Review: FP Footwear FINO Skate Shoes

FP Footwear FINO Skate Shoes I first saw FP's FINO skate shoes in a video by YouTube channel, Braille Skateboarding, titled, THE FIRST EVER NON NEWTONIAN FLUID SKATE SHOES!? As someone whose feet hurt and bruise relatively easily just from the basic tricks of skateboarding (Ollies, Pop Shuv-its etc.) the 90% absorption of impact energy selling point seemed like an ideal solution for minimizing my injuries. A day later I placed an order through FP's website . ​​ Ordinarily I wouldn't mention Customer Service but I can't let the lack of communication on my order slide. FP's website says to expect delivery within 7-14 days of your order. After close to two weeks, my order was still marked as being processed. I sent an email asking for any kind of update, to no response. A day or two later my order was marked as completed but still no signs of shoes in my mail? About two weeks later (just over a full month of placing my order) the shoes arrived. I'm sur

Gosnells, Murals and the Agonis.

Road Trip Day 21: 12th June 2007 My Mum wanted to show me around the town centre of Gosnells (the main suburb of Perth that I grew up in) so Rose and I spent the day with her, walking around the shopping precinct. I was last here in 2004. Back then there was a lot of development work getting under way. Three years later much of the work has been finished for some time. There is a brand new railway/bus station right in the middle of town - much less out of the way than the old platform. One of the old shopping complexes, where we used to buy groceries, looks nothing like it used to. It's been renovated to the point where you wouldn't even know that the underlying base structure was built more than forty years ago. You'd swear the whole thing was built within the last couple of years. The changes are a real improvement too. The centre piece of the town is the 'Agonis' centre. This was being built in 2003. Now it is open and is home to the 'Knowledge Centre