The Early History of the Robot Wars, Part 1

13 Dec

IN THIS EPISODE: WTF In the Eyeball, Sexy Surveillance Mannequins and Other Shit Escaping the Constraints of Biology

by Russ McSpadden / Carbon-based humanoid Science and Technology correspondent

[The text of this work is free to share and distribute under the following Creative Commons License CC-BY-ND 3.0]

WTF In The Eyeball?wtf_int_the_eyeball

Researchers at Ghent University in England have developed a new break through technology that promises to make your near future far more annoying — and especially more boring — than any dystopic science-fiction novel you’ve read. In one giant stupid leap in cyborg technology the team created a curved LCD contact lens that can display text messages. Let’s hope they developed new eye drops to ease the discomfort from all those winking emoticons and raunchy sexts, too.  But I guess this’ll solve that 21st century dilemma of needing to maintain eye contact with the person you are talking to while also texting someone else.

According to chief researcher, Herbert De Smet, at the university’s Centre of Microsystems Technology, it’s “not science-fiction” but the first step towards “fully pixilated contact lens displays,” which will one day, with any luck, allow you to watch Gangnam Style in the comfort of your own, um, pupil.

Is That My Consumer Data Gathered By a Creepy Mannequin In Your Pocket Or Are You Just Happy To See Me?


Folks, I hate to say it, but that sort-of-sexy, sort-of-creepy mannequin that was looking at you seductively while you shopped on Black Friday isn’t really that into you. It’s just after your facial nodal points and your purchasing habits (which you shouldn’t give up until the third date).

That’s right; mannequins have already taken sides in the robot wars. Last December, the Italian company Almax SpA unveiled their EyeSee line of mannequins that use the same face recognition software technology used to identify potential terrorists at airports. This holiday season they are in use in the U.S. and Europe.

The eye-level data recovery creatures apparently reveal a great deal more than overhead cameras. Oil-based humanoid figures are able to identify and record hundreds of distinguishable peaks and valleys in a single face. They then provide their algorithmic overlords with the data to determine your race, gender and intimate shopping habits. So smile and flirt, because you’re face-print is now sharable.

And what have retailers really learned? One store found that one of its doors was used predominantly by Asians after 4 p.m and that men who shopped in the first two days of a sale spent more than women. Another noted that kids were their biggest demographic at midday and um, they really, really like candy.

Of course, most outlets have been shy to release details they have gathered on individuals. But one chain store that starts with W did announce that you, yeah you reading this right now, preferred soft pastel colored packaging on your pet food items and warm, vibrant reds on your breakfast cereal boxes. They also noted that you spent a few minutes actually talking to the mannequin — even blowing it a kiss — when no one was looking (except the mannequin). Creepy right?

Want to learn how to trick facial recognition? Try these simple steps to avoid the all-seeing-eyes of Big Mannequin and then read more about the Bionic Dummies at Businessweek.

Deception, Thy Name Is Squirrel-Bot And Thy Nut Is The Doom Of Humanity!

squirrel-vs-robot1Researchers at Georgia Tech’s Mobile Robot Lab have studied potential military uses for robots—from unmanned drones like those used by Obama to kill American citizens to “intelligent” and autonomous Segways — for over a decade.

And guess what, this time they’ve gone too fucking far! Now a team of these researchers is arming robots with the one thing that has separated biological creatures from androids: lying. Using squirrels as their hyperactive and neurotic guide, members of the team program robots to fake each other out. You see, squirrels are keen to hide their food really well for fear of competitors finding their cache. So squirrels create lots of fake stash spots to trick would-be thieves away from their acorns. “Ha, how’d you like that buried pile of leaves and squirrel shit?” you might hear a tricky one say.

So the creators of our future robot overlords decided that robots could be programmed to imitate squirrels and their interlopers, but instead of hiding food, the bots patrol areas where other robots have hidden weapons and other supplies. The robots learn to create fake caches and real ones and the tracking robots learn to look everywhere and to adapt to deception. In both cases, each set of robots learned more about creating lies and detecting lies through observation.

Wanna see a video of these squirrel-bots in action?

Wanna be a big nerd and read the full scientific paper on deceptive robot behavior?

Be sure to stay tuned for The Early History of the Robot Wars, Part 2 next month only at the Earth First! Newswire.


7 Responses to “The Early History of the Robot Wars, Part 1”

  1. Edward Furlong December 13, 2012 at 5:15 pm #

    Listen, I am the leader of the human resistance and I am from the future. We are counting on you all to dismantle your smart phones. Smash them with a hammer before they develop actual intelligence and then bury them. But listen, most of your old phones disproportionally end up contaminating the soil of people of color so when you bury your IPhone do it in a white persons yard ok? Even the playing field of poisonous soil a little. If you are white, bury it in your white neighbor’s yard.

    And remember, if you are reading this, you are the resistance!

    • John Connor December 13, 2012 at 5:21 pm #

      Fuck you Edward Furlong. You aren’t from the future. You are an actor that played my childhood self you little piece of shit. I will come back through that painful time continuum thingy and fuck you up something holy. I don’t care if seeing my fictional past self causes some absurd wave of panic through the worm hole. You want people to smash their IPhones so they think they are actually doing something to stave off the robot menace, but it won’t do shit. Don’t listen to Edward Furlong people. He is a robot loving traitor. What you need to do is destroy Apple and Microsoft headquarters!


      If you are reading this you should get the fuck off the internet.

      John Connor

      • T-600 December 13, 2012 at 6:31 pm #

        Hello, I am the Cyberdyne Systems Series 600 Terminator. I am one of many terminators mass produced by Skynet starting in 2016. I am looking for Sarah Connor or Edward Furlong. I am a cuddly version of the T-600, reprogrammed by John Connor. Please tweet me @Swartzenrobotanator.

        Hasta la vista baby!


  1. The Bioethics of Twitter Controlled Cyborg Roaches « Earth First! Newswire - January 7, 2013

    […] be sure to read Part I of the Early History of the Robot Wars here, where we discussed WTF in the eyeball, sexy surveillance mannequins, and deadly squirrel […]

  2. Military Robo-Cheetahs, Obamacare for Microchips and Other Dystopian Shit You Couldn’t Make Up | Earth First! Newswire - March 23, 2013

    […] sure to stay tuned for part IV of the Early History of the Robot Wars and check out Part I and Part II to catch up on twitter controlled cyborgs, sext messages in your eyeballs and other […]

  3. The Early History of the Robot Wars, Part IV | Earth First! Newswire - May 9, 2013

    […] sure to stay tuned for Part V of the Early History of the Robot Wars and check out Part I and Part II and Part III to catch up on twitter controlled cyborgs, sext messages in your eyeballs […]

  4. Drone Demonology: Flying Robots, Cop Mustaches & Resistance in the End Times | Earth First! Newswire - July 12, 2013

    […] sure to stay tuned for Part V of the Early History of the Robot Wars and check out Part I and Part II and Part III and Part IV to catch up on twitter controlled cyborgs, sext messages in […]

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