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      CommentAuthorLuke
    • CommentTimeJan 25th 2008
     (633.1)
    Another great subject by the folks at Pink Tentacle, Robots who can recognise and assist lost shoppers. It's got all the usual mobile half-humanoid robot material, (and the "OMG Robots target vulnerable humans" if you're into that kind of thing) but what I'd be really interested in is the behaviour table the software uses to categorise humans - apparently it can tell between ten different shopping center "modes".

    Even cooler, the researchers responsible are setting up a permanent base in the shopping center for robotics testing - that's an excellent real-world testing idea. Not to mention I wouldn't mind going shopping with my girlfriend if I was expecting to run into Daleks every time I went.
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      CommentAuthorroque
    • CommentTimeJan 25th 2008
     (633.2)
    oh god, this is my worst nightmare. robots are to me like clowns are to some people.

    I used to hate that frickin arcade game when I was a kid-- the one where the robots come after you in the maze?
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      CommentAuthorTrotsky
    • CommentTimeJan 25th 2008 edited
     (633.3)
    If the robot helping me out when I was lost was this one:
    female robot
    then I wouldn't mind so much.
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      CommentAuthormrghosty
    • CommentTimeJan 25th 2008
     (633.4)
    um, how lost can one actually get while shopping? I mean lost in the wilderness is one thing. But getting lost in a shopping centre? That seems pretty rediculous to me.
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      CommentAuthorTrotsky
    • CommentTimeJan 25th 2008 edited
     (633.5)
    @ mrghosty, dude, it's totally easy.

    Ever really wanted a cookie, but been totally unable to locate the Mrs. Fields, and some fat dude is standing in front of the mall directory, totally obscuring it?

    You don't want to be rude, but you're getting hungrier and hungrier as the seconds tick on, and that guy's not moving...

    That's when you panic, and the robot senses your vulnerability, and comes to prey on you and try to sell you stuff.

    Really, it makes perfect sense.
    •  
      CommentAuthorBen
    • CommentTimeJan 25th 2008
     (633.6)
    If it sold me a cookie, I wouldn't have a problem with it.
    •  
      CommentAuthormrghosty
    • CommentTimeJan 25th 2008
     (633.7)
    see now robots with cookies. i can get into that.
    •  
      CommentAuthorAlan Tyson
    • CommentTimeJan 25th 2008
     (633.8)
    I think the main goal would be to assist lost children who have somehow gotten separated from their shopaholic parents, something I see happen with a fair amount of frequency. Which, when you imagine a kindly, helpful robot coming to assist a lost and scared child, I dunno about you, but that cranks my "d'awwwww!" meters up to eleven.
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      CommentAuthoroldhat
    • CommentTimeJan 25th 2008
     (633.9)
    Screw the lost children, I want a cookie.
  1.  (633.10)
    Hmmm. I can't help but connect the dots here with some other robotics research:

    1. British roboticists develop robots that are powered by meat.
    2. French scientists develop a microchip that identifies meat.
    3. Robot slave gladiator escapes from captivity.

    Now we'll have robots who can cull the confused and vulnerable meat from the herd. That adds up to:

    Robots who hunger for meat, can identify it, are able to find vulnerable meat to consume, and who are cunning enough to escape captivity and roam freely.

    Heck, I'm sleepin' well tonight! :)
  2.  (633.11)
    Robots who hunger for meat, can identify it, are able to find vulnerable meat to consume, and who are cunning enough to escape captivity and roam freely.

    Heck, I'm sleepin' well tonight! :)


    And then USA and Japan will start competing who makes the most dangerous robot and we'll be all fucked.
  3.  (633.12)
    ...Or we'll just buy millions of useful and charming meat-powered robot lawnmowers, and wake up screaming.
    •  
      CommentAuthorAlan Tyson
    • CommentTimeJan 25th 2008
     (633.13)
    Where do we sign up for download into robot body?
    •  
      CommentAuthormrghosty
    • CommentTimeJan 25th 2008
     (633.14)
    i wanna be an adrienne barbeaubot :P
    •  
      CommentAuthorwilliac
    • CommentTimeJan 25th 2008
     (633.15)
    i wanna be an adrienne barbeaubot :P
    With the strength of 5 gorillas!

    Stores are designed to disorient (see Coercion by Douglas Rushkoff).

    I'm just hoping the robot has a button you can press to make it leave you alone. Once that's been perfected, I'd like to see it grafted onto human sales people.