Robocop versus Terminator

by ryan

There’s a giant robot in the back of the ExplOratorium. Sometimes I become very afraid that it will come alive and go on a desctructive rampage inside the museum. But then I remember that it can’t walk and I breathe a small sigh of relief. The robot is pretty cool looking and it supposedly has some sensors that hook it up to person’s vital signs so it can react with them. But as of now it’s on a pattern of movement that only gets awakened when a visitor comes close.

Perfect for me to mess with people’s minds then. I’ve started to go up to the robot and play a technological version of the game when you face another person and try to mirror their actions. (Although it is much easier playing with a robot when you know the sequence). I don’t tell visitors whether or not I actually do control it, but leave them to wonder if its possible. If they ask me how I do it, I just shrug my shoulders. I wonder is this is an appropriate ‘joke’ to play with the visitors. On one hand there are many tricks of the mind in the mind section and that seems almost like magic demonstration, where we learn about our perceptions. However I don’t want to suggest that the exhibit can do something that it can’t. Maybe we can put up a sign that says, “if you think you are interacting with the robot, you actually are”.

On an related note, did anyone else think that by 2008 we would have better robots. I mean sure there’s a vacuum cleaner that supposedly works on its own and little toy robots, but that’s all? No Terminators? No Robocops? What the heck?

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