Robots fulfill a legitimate need in our society: We have too many jobs and not enough hunter/killers, and those two birds can be killed with one flamethrower. Yes, I am absolutely saying all robots are evil and all humans who build them are traitors to their species — but most of these cyber-Judases at least pretend at respectability. There’s something very refreshing about an engineer who openly admits to prototyping a nightmare because they felt the world had wronged them, and it simply made better economic sense to automate their revenge.
Take, for example, the lunatic who built the iCub:
This was not the result of a terrible series of increasingly high-stakes errors — somebody built this monstrosity on purpose. Nobody started off with the best of intentions here. They didn’t design the smooth plastic skull faceplate and say “yes, this will comfort my children as they die.” iCub is not the result of a focus panel that accidentally recruited only maniacs who suggested the addition of ever-shifting pink blobs for the eyebrows and mouth. Look how disproportionately long those fingers are. Is there… is there an extra joint on those? Fuck you. Zero meetings were had where actual human beings got together and decided that robots would be more approachable if only they had grasping raccoon hands.
iCub is a calculated attack on the abstract concept of safety: It is a pale erasure of a child, its features carefully distorted to best resemble a consortium of ghosts temporarily coalescing together into one body to explain the nature of a curse.
The Demon That Lives Beneath the Apple Store was first developed in 2004, but the iCub team has been working on perfecting the thing’s precise unease ever since. It was conceived of by the RobotCub Consortium of the European Commission’s Cognitive Systems and Robotics program, in case you wanted to jot down the acronym that ends mankind. And it was built at the Italian Institute of Technology in Genoa, which I mention so that the remnants of humanity can pinpoint where to send their time-travelling soldiers.
The IIT says that “CUB” stands for Cognitive Universal Body, but you might recognize that as horseshit which means less than nothing. They’re just hastily backfilling an acronym with the first three vaguely robot related words that came to mind. Because if they explained it actually stands for “Cruel and Unyielding Bloodshed,” that would give away the game. They might as well just rip off the human mask and reveal the Snakeoid’s ultimate plan to everyone. And if you think Queen Hissteria enjoys having her timetables fucked with, Dr. SlitheRick, why don’t you ask your predecessor, Dr. VenoMichael, why his last thought was “is this what a disintegrator ray tastes like?!”
Here, shake hands with a robot possessed by a baby’s ghost, you idiot:
Woops, you just lost a hand:
They’re only just now teaching iCub to monitor its horrible, crushing strength. You know that every warning on a product is only there because some poor jackass actually did it once. We have to print ‘DO NOT EAT’ on silica packets because a dipshit in Oklahoma thought every bag of beef jerky came with a mint. So if these scientists are just now figuring out they have to teach their toddler robot not to strangle, it’s because their toddler robot started strangling.
They knew. They knew this would happen. Look how coy they were about the tiny text hidden in the bottom left of this image:
You can and should try to hide from iCub — not because it will help you survive, but because it’s pretty tough to give a robot an erection and iCub likes foreplay. This machine has a very thorough array of sensors with which to find you:
Oh sweet, it has whatever capacitive tactile sensors are in its ‘upper body skin.’ Guess I’ll take that information to my fucking grave.
Hey, here’s what it looks like when you first walk into a suspiciously empty lab and ask, “iCub, is that… is that you?”
I’d like to point out that I didn’t manipulate that GIF in any way. I pulled that straight from the creator’s own hype video. If iCub was a valid scientific experiment and not a twisted revenge scheme on the god who took your child, why did you make its bootup sequence look like somebody pissed off Vegeta? Why does the extremely ominous word ‘AWAKENING’ crawl across the bottom, if not to warn you of the terrible mistake you’ve already made? This is not a “mission to explore the impact of robotics” unless you’re being very sarcastic about some of those words.
Oh hey, I just realized you guys haven’t seen it move around yet. Did you guess that the IIT gave it an unholy, stuttering crawl?
That looks like something you’d slowly look up to find on the ceiling in a movie whose tagline is “IT CRIES, YOU DIE.”
But if you found the ‘unstuck from time’ crawl to be a disconcerting method of locomotion, boy are you fucking fucked:
Yes, they’re giving this dead-eyed skullfaced stranglebot baby some Iron Man-style jet blasters for reasons that could only be medically diagnosed as ‘Aggressively Suicidal Hyper-Mania.’
Keep your eyes on the skies, Hot Doggers!
Because that’s where death lives now.
This article was brought to you by our fine patron and Hot Dog Supreme, Neil Schafer: Who was voted ‘Most Likely to Fuck a Whole Mountain Range’ Senior Year, and while he hasn’t succeeded yet, you have to admire the way he tries.