Ah, technology. Growing up, most of us were fascinated by the sight of the first massive, boxy computers complete with black screens and prehistoric orange typeface. We had no idea of the iPods, iPads, Macbooks, iPhones and more that were to come and take over our lives. Nintendo consisted of a guy named Mario and a dinosaur named Yoshi, jumping around to capture a few coins.
Today, you can play tennis with a virtual opponent on a gadget called a Wii and play World of Warcraft with your friend in Australia remotely. We used to have to wait in long line ups just to pay for our milk at the grocery store – now we can be in and out in five minutes thanks to self check-out. Flying cars used to be a concept we only saw on The Jetsons and according to reports, we’re now closer than ever to them becoming a reality.
In the past twenty years alone, the level of technology achieved in the world has grown at an astronomical rate. Even ten years ago, none of us could have imagined an app that lets you order food and have it delivered to your doorstep or request to be picked up by an Uber driver based on your GPS location.
Robotics have since experienced the same progress, coming up with wild creations that most of us could never have thought were possible. Below, we’ve outlined some of the creepiest ones: from lifelike human baby robots to gigantic remote controlled spiders and more. Read on and try not to get goosebumps.
Bina48 is a social robot that was created in 2010 by Martine Rothblatt and was modeled after her wife following over 100 hours of compiling her memories, feelings and beliefs. The robot is one of today’s greatest examples of artificial intelligence, capable of holding conversations on a variety of topics such as politics, religion and technology. While it is small and in the shape of a human head and shoulders, Bina48 can express over 64 different facial expressions, can remember visitors and can connect to the Internet to further its knowledge. Perhaps humanity’s future will include the integration of such robots, which is a very creepy concept indeed.
9. RoboFly Catcher
The RoboFly Catcher was created in the UK by James Auger and was originally built to perform pest control. The scariest aspect of this machine, however, is that it is fueled by the flesh that it feeds on – whether that is insect flesh or human flesh. If the machine accidentally mistakes humans for bugs or mice, it could easily kill any individual in its path and continue to be powered by our remains. In other words, the machine could keep going long after it killed humans – as long as the bugs didn’t die with us. Just the thought of it is terrifying.
8. La Machine Spider Robots
Built by a French art collective called La Machine in 2008, these spider robots measured 40 feet tall and weighed 37 tons. They were placed in public in Liverpool, England and scared crowds half to death by shooting out smoke, flames, wind and water from their legs. The spiders were made out of wood and steel and had sophisticated hydraulics which allowed the operator to move their eyes, legs and abdomens. The idea was to liven up Liverpool’s cultural scene with some art, but the robots proved to be unsettling to passersby and were soon removed. Taxpayers were outraged, as it had cost 1.8 million British pounds just to transport the spiders from France.
You know the world is a scary place when robots are teaching social skills to autistic children. The NAO Robot has got dexterous hands, can be used as a platform to run apps on, responds to voice commands and visual cues and can even dance to hits by Psy and Michael Jackson. What terrifies us about the NAO robot is the possibility that one day, schoolteachers might be replaced entirely by this smart, three foot tall $8,000 robot.
The Animatronic is an unnamed robotic dancer that was created by New York-based artist Jordan Wolfson and enjoys speaking, lip-syncing and gyrating to today’s popular music. What’s especially terrifying about this robot is its scary face, aggressive dance moves and the fact that it uses facial recognition technology to follow gallery-goers around with its gaze, which is reflected in a mirror. The idea with the Animatronic is to challenge the notion that grinding is a sexy dance move and the result is as creepy as intended.
The ASIMO robot’s freaky factor lies in its ability to mimic humans to an impressive degree of similarity. It can walk up and down stairs, pick up and manipulate objects and is the first robot to demonstrate the capability of being able to run. It can also respond to voice commands, turn to look at noises, map an environment for navigation, identify gestures and perform minor speech. In other words, it’s pretty much almost a human and robots are soon going to take over the world.
Because we didn’t have enough toddlers in the world, Japanese Professor Ishiguro decided to create a four foot tall, 100 pound infant robot with the physical and intellectual capabilities of a two-year-old. What’s scary about the CB2 is that it’s equipped with a child’s voice, can ask you for love and attention and can stumble across the room to chase you if you don’t respond. Do we really need a bug-eyed, fake plastic human clumsily running around our planet and stalking us for attention?
Originally built with the goal of removing heavy debris from natural disaster scenes, the Japanese creators of the Robokiyu soon decided that the robot would be better suited to removing and disposing of dead bodies. So essentially, this robot’s main function is to drag deceased people off the street and eat them up. The scary issue here would be if you weren’t actually dead and were unconscious in the street following a natural disaster, and the robot sidled over and ate you up.
2. T52 Enryu
The T52 Enryu was created in Japan and designed to save humans during natural disasters such as earthquakes and tsunamis or man-made disasters such as fires or car crashes. Its goal is to cut a path for rescue workers by moving large, heavy objects out of the way. The robot can be remotely piloted, so the danger here is if the controller drops or accidentally gets pushed the wrong way. It would be all too easy to cause mass destruction instead of help sift through debris. For that reason, the T52 Enryu needs to be carefully piloted at all times.
But really, what could be more terrifying than a gigantic, 50 foot long robotic snake? Named after the gigantic boa constrictor that lived 60 million years ago, a group of Vancouver-based artists created the snake to build awareness about its history and pit it against an equally scary large spider robot in robotics battles. The snake is freakishly lifelike and features five different ranges of motion, micro controllers, automated eyes and jaw and the option to ride on its back. Thanks, but no thanks.
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