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Gadgets

My robot dreams are shattered

Where are all the robotic contraptions that dress you and clean your teeth as you stand around in a hangover-induced daze? Science fiction, why have you forsaken us?

This morning I awoke with a start, sat bolt upright and cursed loudly -- last night I'd forgotten to pack my luggage for CeBIT. The plane would be leaving in a few of hours, so I did what any 20-something bloke would do and began hurling random items into a suitcase, hoping that among the razors, MP3 players and digital cameras would be enough underwear to last the week. Then it dawned on me -- I shouldn't have to do this.

Decades ago scientists promised us a world filled with robotic human helpers that would do everything from clean the house to shave your armpits. So where the hell are they? Where are all the robotic contraptions that dress you and clean your teeth as you stand around in a hangover-induced daze? Science fiction, why have you forsaken us?

Sure, we have the Asimo, a couple of (rubbish) robotic vacuum cleaners and even a few remote-controlled pigeons, but when it comes to stuff we can actually use in our day-to-day lives -- it just ain't gonna happen. Not in my lifetime, and not in yours.

No matter how many robots I see on TV, or at the numerous trade shows I frequent, I'll never believe the hype. I suggest the scientists dedicate their time and money to more important goals, like gut-reducing beer.