Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Did we learn nothing from Isaac Asimov...

I think we all had a toy in our childhood that we wanted desperately, but never got.  For me it was a toy robot called Maxx Steele which, if the commercials were to be believed, could bring you drinks, clean up your room, and talk to you.  Of course now I realise that it was just a glorified remote control car with a few key phrases saved on a tape deck, but what can I say!  It was the 80's, and I was only 8 years old!

I remember asking my mother if I could have it, and then I remember the laughter and the incredulous looks.  Apparently she didn't think that $350 was a good deal for a child's toy.  I suppose in hind sight I can see where she was coming from.  With the rate of inflation, that was about $800 back then!

So I gave up my dreams of owning a robot that would put my toys away for me, and over time completely forgot about Maxx Steele.  That is, at least, until I was reading the news this morning.

Apparently someone in Japan was also denied the pleasure of owning a robot when they were little, because now they've gone and built one.  And holy shit, but that's a terrifying looking machine!

It weighs 4 tonne, cost more than 1.3 million dollars, and ... this is the most terrifying part ... has a freaking gatling gun attached that will shoot six thousand bullets a minute if the controller smiles.  Seriously, if he smiles!  Tell him a joke, and he could cause that behemoth to spray bullets everywhere.  For gods sake, don't even think of a Knock Knock!

I'm not even sure WHY they'd want to tie the robot's actions to the controller's facial expressions.  What else?  It goes forward if he frowns?  Does the robot dance if he makes a surprised face?  Maybe they should make it so it does things only for the really weird facial expressions.  It shoots only if the controller makes a fish face, perhaps?  It's sure as hell got to be a better idea than the whole giggles equals gun activation thing they've got going on.

So parents, next time your little darling asks for some ridiculously expensive gadget, heed my warning!  THIS is what happens when you stop a bunch of kids from owning futuristic robots when they're little!  They grow up and build them themselves.

18 comments:

  1. very cleaver (your post) not the robot envy. that sucker is terrifying. I mean those Japanese people standing next to it are teeny. o my gawsh!!!

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    1. I know! Why on earth did they invent it! It's just going to become sentient then kill us all!

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  2. Hummm, where does this fit in Japan's polite society.

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    1. I would assume they're going to sell it to the highest bidder. I know that's what I'd do...

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  3. I am going to have robot nightmares tonight because of that thing!

    When I was little I had an Alfie robot. I took him apart to try and make him cuss. I failed.

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    1. Oh, I so wanted a robot when I was little. But given the level of 80's technology, I suspect I was overestimating what they were capable of.

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  4. Omg...that is a terrifying looking machine!!! I don't like it. I don't like it!!

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    1. At least it's big. We should be able to see it coming and hide.

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  5. $350! Is that how much Maxx Steele really cost back then?? No wonder my mum looked at my brother as if he had been smoking crack, when he asked for one.

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    1. That's pretty much the reaction I got from my mum too.

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  6. Wow. That was like $1000 in today's money. All I ever wanted waas a Holly Hobbie oven. Never got to use one. Explains why I don't cook....

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    1. Well it is important to reinforce those gender norms early on. At least I'm pretty sure that's why my mother taught me to use the washing machine when I was eleven, but my father taught my brother to mow the lawn.

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  7. I want to own this for no other reason than having an epic dance off with someone. I don't know who... But I'm sure I can talk Eddie into it!

    Hugs!

    Valerie

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    1. Absolutely! Just make sure you don't smile when you win ... unless you want to cut your opponent in half with a spray of BB bullets.

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  8. Shoot anyone who does a self shot duck face photo

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  9. SEE? We were so much more innocent. We just wanted our robots to swear, and pick up our shit for us, and terrorize the neighbors dog. Harmless. We would have never thought of adding flamethrowers and deathrays to it. All I wanted when I was a kid was an invisibility device anyway. THAT would have been awesome!

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