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Watch the impossible joy of robots falling over like drunks

Technically Incorrect: During the DARPA Robotics Challenge, not everything goes to plan. Which makes for beautiful comic footage.

Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that's taken over our lives.


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Down goes Liston! Down goes Liston! IEEE Spectrum/YouTube screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

They're going to rule us soon.

Why, some of them are already in senior positions at tech companies.

But robots haven't quite taken over yet, so we're allowed to chuckle at them when they pull a Mr. Bean, aren't we?

This week saw a rather exciting event. It was the finals of the Robotics Challenge sponsored by DARPA, the Defense Advancement Research Projects Agency.

It was won by a team from South Korea, which created a robot that could do its thing even when conditions were dangerous.

However, for reasons that veer somewhere along the axes of immaturity and humanity, I was more moved by a YouTube blooper video of robots failing in their missions. Posted by IEEE Spectrum, it shows that robots are people too.

Or, at least the creations of people who aren't infallible, but merely engineers trying to create the aura of infallibility.

One minute, you think a robot's going to open a door. The next, you realize he's been on the ouzo, as he falls backwards like a pub crawler on a Saturday night.

Look, there's a robot riding a robot bike. Look, there's a robot riding a robot bike and then falling entirely sideways.

I know I should be admiring the great advances that robotics is taking.

It's just that there's something inordinately hopeful in seeing that there might be one or two steps to go before, as Google exec Ray Kurzweil said this week, we'll become robohuman hybrids. (He reckons we'll be there in 15 years time.)