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VIDEOS: Slightly Useless Robot Roundup

VIDEOS: Slightly Useless Robot Roundup

You think you're good at Rock Paper Scissors? Yeah, so did we. We even have an Official Strategy Guide here at MindHut HQ, which explores the psychology behind all of the different move choices and patterns. Maybe that crosses into the realm of "taking yourself far too seriously"—but the point is, we all love a good game of rock paper scissors right?

Well, thanks to a group of scientists and engineers over at Japan's Ishikawa Labs, we can never again enjoy that rush of adrenaline after destroying someone in a best out of 3 (or even 7!) round of America's favorite game. Because we know that out there somewhere, an evil presence is lurking. Waiting. Biding its time until mass production hits and every kid on the block owns this robot:

So not only does this news mean the end to our dreams of going to 2013 USRPS National Team, but it also makes you think for a second... who the heck thought it would be a great idea to invest hundreds of millions of dollars into making a robot that can beat all comers at a child's game? Cool, sure, but compared to stuff like this it seems ultimately kind of pointless.

Of course, they'll say, this is an anomaly. An outlier. The rock-paper-scissors-playing-exception that proves the rule.

That's where "they" are wrong, Mindmasters. We've scoured the dark, murky corners of the intertubes, the places where brave men fear to tread, to bring YOU 5 other useless and inane robots you won't believe actually got made!

1. A Standup Comic Robot

Move over humans! Now we have an electronic, gizmo-gadgety computer programmed thing that can tell bad jokes about airplane food!

2. A Robot Fish

The fluid motions of this thing are really, really cool. But at the end of the day it seems just as pointless as, well... a real fish.

3. A Robot Fashion Runway Model

One day can we hope to see collections of robotic models tripping on runways?

4. A Robot That Makes Pancakes

We love pancakes as much as the next guy. But of all the things in my life we would love to outsource to a cold, heartless animatron, the forging of pancakes from the fires of Mount Doom would probably be close to last.

5. A Robot That Bothers Tigers

Because we just haven't messed up enough tigers' days without robots, ya know.

And there you have it folks—a dispatch from the front lines of the field of robotics, where billions of tax dollars are at work figuring out how to do things that, against all the odds, could be done relatively easily by any of us. Where's our millions?

What are your favorite videos of robots, useless or otherwise?

Tags: sci fi, future, robots, engineering, videos

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About the Author
Tim Wainwright

Tim Wainwright writes about monsters, sexual ethics, and public sector employee pension reform--and sometimes other things. You can follow him on twitter @Tim_Wainwright , because he has a strange desire to have people read the things he writes. He is growing to accept the fact that people will always call him "bud", and that he will never pull off the cowboy hat look.

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