Meet Robonaut 2.
Robonaut (or “R2” for short) is a humanoid robot designed by NASA to work alongside astronauts in space, performing dangerous or routine tasks so humans won’t have to. Footage of R2 working on the International Space Station was released this week; making him somewhat of an internet sensation.
R2 resembles a human from the waist-up, and has hands, arms and human-like dexterity. He can even do sign language!
If you’re anything like me, then you’re probably a little freaked out by all of this. You might be thinking, gee, this is a great scientific development and all, but what if that robot gets tired of wearing his heavy spacesuit all day and decides he wants my job instead? What if robots start taking all the jobs? Or worse- get their own reality shows. After that, it’s only a matter of time before total world domination.
Your concerns are not without merit.
But if there’s one thing Pop Culture has taught us, it’s that Robots are nothing to be afraid of.*
We should be excited, not scared, about the prospect having a few more Robots around. Here, as evidenced by pop culture, are just a few of the reasons why:
*With the notable exceptions of Decepticons, HAL 9000, Psycho Rangers, and Mario Lopez.
1. They Help You Out of Difficult Situations
If our friend R2D2 is any indication, Robots are some tough muthafu*kas. Not only are they incredibly skilled problem solvers, they also kick ass and take names 24/7. Let’s just say that if I ever found myself on the Planet Endor fighting off a legion of Imperial Troops, I’d know who to call.
2. They Make Your House a Home
Who didn’t want a Rosie growing up? Aside from the Food Machine, she was the very best part of The Jetsons. A loving, caring, authoritative mother figure who helps you with your homework and keeps a perfect house? Name me one Roomba who can do that.
3. They Provide a Helpful PSA for Children About Safety
5. They Teach Us How To Love
6. They Struggle to understand human emotion in a really sweet way
7. They Lead Us During Times of Crisis
Not only was Optimus Prime a brave and powerful leader, he was also a bit of an armchair philosopher. With such amazing lines as “Fate rarely calls upon us at a time of our choosing” and “Freedom is the right of all sentient beings“, I think I’d like to have a guy like Optimus around if nuclear war ever broke out or something. You know, if Churchill wasn’t available.
8. They Clean Up Our Streets
He might have some deep-seeded issues, but he means well.
9. They Make Really Fun Drinking Buddies
… And finally:
Because Robots Need Love Too
Like Marvin, the loveable yet chronically depressed Paranoid Android from Hitchiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, your robot (yes, we each get our own) may too, have some trouble adjusting to the inferior intellectual capacities of earth.
This is your opportunity to do something good for
humdroidmanity!! Engage your robot’s planet-size brain in a rousing game of Risk. Plan a trip to the Museum of Modern Art. Organize a round-robin Rubik’s Cube Tournament. Anything you like. Just keep him away from the E! network.
Question of the Day: What would you like to see robots do?