Nat'l Robotics Week to showcase future overlords

Sneaky intelligent machines have convinced industry players to put on a National Robotics Week in April. The purpose is to show that robots can "make life easier."

Tim Hornyak
Crave freelancer Tim Hornyak is the author of "Loving the Machine: The Art and Science of Japanese Robots." He has been writing about Japanese culture and technology for a decade. E-mail Tim.
Tim Hornyak
2 min read

Sneaky intelligent machines have convinced their future human servants to put on the first National Robotics Week, announcing to the masses that robots can "make life easier."

April 10-18, 2010 may go down in history as the week when Americans officially embraced robotic beings as their new best friends. Just look at what happened with Jell-O. In 2001, the Utah legislature declared a Jell-O Week, and now Jello-O is everywhere--in our fridges, in our thoughts, and in our stomachs.

But make no mistake, robots are far more nefarious than gelatin dessert. Companies such as iRobot and Adept Technology, along with academic centers like Carnegie Mellon and Georgia Tech, will help sponsor robot tournaments, open houses, and other events across the country. There will even be a briefing at the Congressional Robotics Caucus. Yes, the influence of robots reaches to the highest levels of society.

The activities are meant to show how robotic technologies are growing in importance in everything from medicine to defense to farming, while encouraging the public to "experience the possibilities" in robots--instead of fleeing from them. Getting kids interested in science, technology, engineering, and math is another goal.

Laudable, perhaps. But what if all those kids end up using their skills to build more robots? See how sneaky those intelligent beings are?

Setting aside a period specifically aimed at increasing awareness is extremely dangerous. Someone declared a National Umbrella Month, and now umbrellas follow us to work, to the beach and to the golf course. If you don't want robots to take over your life, then don't drink this Kool-Aid.

In April, be afraid of robots. Be very afraid.