No More Human-like Robots

Last night’s episode of The Gadget Show featured Jason Bradbury and Suzi Perry trying to present the show, while not AT the studio.

In the case of Suzi, she had a virtual avatar of herself made, then overlayed on the screen. She looked a bit odd, but it worked ok.

Jason attempted a robot of himself. From the neck up, it was scarily life-like while motionless, but moved in a manner that made it obvious he wasn’t human.

Don’t get me wrong. I like robots. They’re pretty cool. The idea of having a device that can tidy your house, mow your lawn, or even drive to work for you – all pretty cool.

But robot engineers have to stop trying to make them look human. You’ve had about 50 years at it, and you’ve failed. They’re STILL creepy, weird, dead behind the eyes, with no expression to speak of. Just move on.

Research has proven that people don’t like human-like robots anyway (unless they want to be scared shitless). I don’t like human-like robots. I like robots that look like robots.
Or to put this in a more picture-oriented manner:
Yes! (just about)


NO! Definitely not!

(Last picture above from via @jasonbradbury on Twitter.)

Now let’s have no more of this. Scientists! Engineers! Make me a robot that allows me to live from its immoral earnings, without a stain on either of our characters, or a frowning face from the rest of society.

Update: 20th October 2011

I’ve just read this in the metro, and so have another robot to add to the NO list, in the form of:


(Teotronico robot, picture by Caters news agency)

Why the creepy black and white of his face? He’s like an evil piano-playing skeleton, with wonky eyes (and 19 fingers, apparently). Or, given his outfit, if you reversed the black and white of his face, he’s Papa Lazarou from the League of Gentlemen. Horrible. Stop it, stop it now.

2 thoughts on “No More Human-like Robots”

    1. Yes.
      The two asian guys is a scientist (right) who created a robot in his likeness (left). The woman I believe was shown off at some science/AI exhibition, where she welcomed visitors. The two bald guys at the bottom is TV presenter/author Jason Bradbury (left), and robot Jase (right). Creepy as hell.

      With the robot-like robots, they are from the top – a paper one you could buy from UrbanOutfitters (but doesn’t seem to still be available), Johnny 5 from the Short Circuit films, the robot from Lost in Space (the rubbish old TV series, not the terrible film version), Wall-e, and the one playing the trumpet is a robot made by Toyota ( )
      The last robot-playing-the-piano is here:

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