If it weren’t for urine, life would certainly suck for the Bristol Robotics Laboratory.
We should explain that.
The lab originally developed the EcoBot, which runs on the corpses of insects that it traps. This seemed like a practical idea … to anyone who hasn’t wasted $6 on a Venus Flytrap, only to see it dead in a week. There just aren’t enough flies to keep it running, not even if you design the robot’s collection nozzle or whatever to look like the eye of one of those starving kids from the Sally Struthers ads.
(Tangent: What happened to those kids? Were they fed to the Sarah McLachlan dogs, or are they all working tech support now?)
So, they developed an alternate fuel after what we assume was a very fun night out on the town: urine. Not just urine, but urine pumped through an artificial heart. And all it took was one scientist saying he had to pee so bad that his blood smelled like lager and asparagus. We assume, anyway.
Special thanks to Patrick H. for bringing this to our attention!
What? You had a stronger word? It’s plausible that robots might not stab humans just because they’re holding knives. They could merely slice, eviscerate, decapitate, or puncture humans.
Cornell University robot developers devised a new training method that simplifies the robot training process so that you don’t need 10 advanced degrees to tell Data that you prefer your sandwiches cut diagonally, not straight across. Among the sample tasks was teaching a cashier robot not to stab people with the knives it was ringing up.
And you know what the next step will be: putting all those human cashiers out of work who can’t ring up a Ginsu without tempering the blade in customer guts. To which we say, those sociopaths have to eat, too, Cornell, and you just dook deir jorbs.
A Swiss robot designed in the image of a cat, named “cheetah-cub robot” (which shall be called “Cheetor” in order to both gain nerd cred and troll nerds), has been unveiled to the world. While the size of a house cat, it’s able to run as fast an adult moving quickly. Perhaps the initial blueprint was for Cheetor to be a search and rescue type machine, but think of the horror it can inflict:
A kamikaze type bomb that can move faster than our slovenly lot can handle.
A creature that can quickly trip up supply lines, much less destroy our ACL tendons.
Does your child have dreams of stomping over the neighbors? Does tiny Zack yearn for a better day when crushing your enemies means hitting them with a drill hand? Does little Sally absolutely love the color green? Are you rich?
Fortunately, no one does calligraphy anymore but street vendors, thanks to the rise of movable type, and of course desktop publishing. Perhaps training robots to do things we no longer do is just the thing to keep them busy and a few decades behind us.
Here’s what we’d like to see them taught how to do next: