FUN FRIDAY: Robot “Goes Rogue?”

Finally, after years of warnings from sci-fi writers and conspiracy theorists, the robot revolution is finally here. Well… not really.

The story of the “rogue robot” at the Chinese tech trade show sounds a lot worse than it really was. Last week, at the High-Tech Fair in Shenzen, a robot known as Xiao Pang, aka “Little Chubby,” shattered some glass. Shards of this glass evidently cut the ankle of one show attendee, who had to seek immediate medical attention. This is no laughing matter, of course, and everyone here at Solid Signal wishes this person a speedy recovery.

Before you freak out, you need to know that this isn’t a case of Skynet’s artificial intelligence suddenly becoming sentient. At the end of the day, Little Chubby’s so called “attack” is another case of operator error. Apparently, the person running the robot pushed reverse button when he meant to push forward. This made Little Chubby smash through a window or similar piece of glass. A statement on the website of the company that makes Little Chubby says that the robot has sensors to prevent it from crashing into objects, but these sensors had been disabled at the High-Tech Fair.

So it’s pretty obvious that we humans have nothing to fear from Little Chubby in the way of a robot revolution. But that doesn’t mean that Chubby’s cybernetic soul brothers can’t one day rise up against use “fleshies.” What are we to make of a robot that not only can walk on its own but also put some funky rhythm in its robotic footsteps? Meanwhile, there are other robots that auto correct when given a forceful shove. Could these devices be the predecessors to some upcoming robotic revolt? Only time will tell.

In case you’re wondering about Little Chubby, the robot is an educational tool created for children between the four and 12. I can’t help but wonder how many parents will be lining up to buy this robot for their children once word of the now-infamous “Shenzen incident” gets out?

About the Author

Jake Buckler
Jake Buckler is a cord-cutter, consumer electronics geek, and Celtic folk music fan. Those qualities, and his writing experience, helped him land a copywriting gig at Signal Group, LLC. He also contributes to The Solid Signal Blog.