Robots





Coincidence Control Network: File #057 – Super Sex with Al Goldstein

This week: The CCN crew stumbles drunkly into 2014 still a man down, Rest in Peace Al Goldstein you rough and ready diamond, Sex makes you done smarter, Dem robots took our joooobs, I’ve heard of pussy power…but this?, and those wacky DEA boys are at it again.

PersonnelJoe Nolan, Frater Isla, and Ken Eakins


It’s mooted by Jon Turi at Engadget that Nikola Tesla, as ever ahead of his time, designed the first military drone, although he’s quoted as saying himself, “You do not see there…


The company that creates terrifying machines such as BigDog, CHEETAH, and PETMAN for the Pentagon’s DARPA division is now a subsidiary of Google. It remains to be seen how Google plans to combine the deployment of robots such as BigDog (below) with its knowledge of your intimate personal information and location at all times. The New York Times reports:

Google confirmed on Friday that it had completed the acquisition of Boston Dynamics, an engineering company that has designed mobile research robots for the Pentagon. The company, based in Waltham, Mass., has gained an international reputation for extraordinarily agile machines that walk with an uncanny sense of balance and even — cheetahlike — run faster than the fastest humans.

Executives at the Internet giant are circumspect about what exactly they plan to do with their robot collection.


We now know what ends the most advanced androids will serve: initiating marketing scans. TIME on incredibly creepy robo-calls from a person purporting to be Samantha West, a real live woman, to eerily convincing effect:

When Scherer asked point blank if she was a real person, or a computer-operated robot voice, she replied enthusiastically that she was real. But then she failed several other tests. When asked “What vegetable is found in tomato soup?” she said she did not understand the question. When asked what day of the week it was yesterday, she complained repeatedly of a bad connection.

When the number was called a second time, a real live employee of Premier Health Plans Inc., who gave his name as Bruce Martin, answered the phone. He described the company as selling life insurance, health insurance and dental insurance.


Tiffany Shlain and husband Ken Goldberg, Professor of Robitics at UC Berkeley, share some thoughts about robots in a new short film “Why We Love Robots”:








Android technology may reveal the inner lives of simple and mysterious creatures, in disturbing fashion. Via New Scientist:

Slime mold finds the quickest path between food and has even shown signs of having memory – despite not having a brain.

A human-like robot face has been hooked up so that its expressions are controlled by the electrical signals produced when yellow slime mold shies away from light, or moves eagerly towards food.

Physarum polycephalum is a common yellow slime mold which ranges in size from several hundred micrometres to more than one metre. It is an aggregation of hundreds or thousands of identical unicellular organisms that merge together into one huge “cell” containing all their nuclei.




NSFW – 18+ content. In this timeless segment from the disinformation TV series, animator Mike Sullivan explores how robots might reproduce once humanity is out of the picture. This episode goes behind…


This mesmerizing and slightly horrifying clip of a six-legged, bug-like robot generating a human form is perhaps a preview of the reproductive process a thousand years from now:

This video demonstrates the hexapod router cutting a 3D face in high density foam.


Maybe.  Russ McSpadden writes at Earth First! Newswire: Pollinators participate in the sexual-reproduction of plants. When you eat an almond, beet, watermelon or sip on coffee, you’re partaking of an ancient relationship…


Ohio man Michael Blevins, 62, has been arrested and charged for harming a robot. Is this the next logical news item we should expect to see in a world with cybernetic hate crime? Via…



Will our machines acquire the ability to convince us that they are in fact alive? An unsettling study at the the Netherlands’ Eindhoven University of Technology:

This video shows an experiment in which participants are asked to switch off a robot and thereby killing it. The robot begs for its live and we measured how long the participants hesitated.

The perception of life largely depends on the observation of intelligent behavior. Even abstract geometrical shapes that move on a computer screen are being perceived as being alive… in particular if they change their trajectory nonlinearly or if they seem to interact with their environments.

The robot’s intelligence had a strong effect on the users’ hesitation to switch it off, in particular if the robot acted agreeable. Participants hesitated almost three times as long to switch off an intelligent and agreeable robot (34.5 seconds) compared to an unintelligent and non-agreeable robot (11.8 seconds).


It will be hard to resist robots if they are as adorable as these ones seem to be. CNET Asia writes:

The Robot Restaurant opened in Harbin in June and has taken the food and beverage industry in China further into the mechanized world. Robot Restaurant staffs a total of 20 robots as waiters, cooks and busboys.

Upon arrival, Usher Robot welcomes customers to the restaurant and directs them to the seating area. Patrons can then place their order, which is relayed by humans to one of the four the robot chefs who are able to cook various styles of dumplings and noodles. Waitress robots carry the food to customers by following a track that uses sensors placed under the floor for spatial awareness.