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Nov 29 2011

I, for one, welcome our future squishily pneumatic robot overlords

These canny engineers have at last realized that the proper model for robots is biological, and have built a soft-bodied walking robot. The future belongs to inflatable technology!

Have no fear. They’re mostly benign.

(Also on Sb)

20 comments

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  1. 1
    Glen Davidson

    Looks a lot like the last feeble flops of a fish dying on land.

    I may hold off on welcoming those as the new overlords.

  2. 2
    PZ Myers

    Do not diss the overlords, unless you really want sinister squishy tentacled things slithering into your bed when you least expect it.

  3. 3
    Anthony K

    Are those based on anomalocarids?

    The fools! It’s ‘rabbits in the Precambrian’.

  4. 4
    Glen Davidson

    Do not diss the overlords, unless you really want sinister squishy tentacled things slithering into your bed when you least expect it.

    That’s why I always honor cephalopods, and, well, spiders, naturally–OK, the spiders I haven’t squished yet (hoping the live ones don’t notice the 8-legged corpses…).

    Glen Davidson

  5. 5
    Anthony K

    unless you really want sinister squishy tentacled things slithering into your bed when you least expect it.

    Least expect? That’s № 1 on my Christmas list.

  6. 6
    Rey Fox

    Ant Roach Huxley sounds like a Melvins song title.

  7. 7
    a3kr0n

    I saw the elephant a few days ago, and thought it had too much starch in it’s underwear.

  8. 8
    Zinc Avenger (Sarcasm Tags 3.0 Compliant)

    What do we have to do to ensure sinister squishy tentacled things slithering into bed when we least expect it?

  9. 9
    daveau

    Hey, you got squid on my robot!
    No, you got robot on my squid!

    Somehow, I’m totally unsurprised. It seems inevitable.

  10. 10
    Stacy
    unless you really want sinister squishy tentacled things slithering into your bed when you least expect it.

    Least expect? That’s № 1 on my Christmas list

    Brownian, that did it. I’m now in The Line.

  11. 11
    Amphiox

    I’ll start getting concerned once I stop seeing the tubes tethering them to the bulky external air/fluid supply.

  12. 12
    codyreisdorf

    You should check out the morphing blob robot too.

  13. 13
    scorpy1

    Somewhere in Hollywoodland, David Cronenberg is drafting his next screenplay.

  14. 14
    HappiestSadist, Repellent Little Martyr

    Tentacled robots. I see.

    For once, I’m delighted to live in the future, and look forward to progress!

    *steps into The Line*

  15. 15
    leonpeyre

    Would this be a good time to insert a joke about looking forward to advances in, um, inflatable technology?

  16. 16
    Sili

    So does the present.

  17. 17
    Anthony K

    For once, I’m delighted to live in the future, and look forward to progress!

    Would this be a good time to insert a joke about looking forward to advances in, um, inflatable technology?

    What? Are you people mad?

    Whenever people gush about computers and robots becoming more ubiquitous, I’m reminded of how much fucking time I spend now waiting for updates and drivers to install (both Adobe and Apple can go fuck themselves so hard) and how I have to find a mechanic with a degree in computing science so s/he can turn off the wrench icon on my dash when I get an oil change.

    It’s going to get worse long before it gets better, and you’d better hope you registered your amorphous robotic assplug with the manufacturer because you naturally created a unique password (as you’re supposed to do) that you can’t possibly hope to remember while the thing is worming its way up your descending and you’re locked out of administrator-level access (is your laptop with the USB 3.0 port still with the Geek Squad?) and they only provide customer support to registered customers between the hours of 8:00 AM and 5:00 PM EST M-F because they just got bought out by motherfucking EA.

  18. 18
    Mobius

    Inflatable technology? Sluggy Freelance is here.

  19. 19
    jimnorth

    Wait, what? So hentai is real?

    *steps into The Line*

  20. 20
    jrochest

    CBC’s “Quirks and Quarks” featured a robotic hand built on the same design concept as the morphing blob robot:

    http://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/story/2010/11/05/fingerless-robot-grip.html

    Built by Cornell. Based on those brick-like vacuum packed bags of ground coffee.

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