Robotic Toaster Sells Itself

Meet 'Brad', a toaster. Brad is a networked robotic toaster that demands to be used - or else he'll sell his services elsewhere.


(Meet Brad, the robotic toaster)

As a connected toaster, he's in constant contact with other connected toasters like him -- and thus keenly aware of how much action they're getting. If he's not being used as much as his friends, Brad gets upset. He'll wiggle his little handle to get your attention, begging you to make some toast or at least to give him a reassuring pat on the side. Ignore him long enough, and he'll take a more drastic measure: pinging a network of potential owners to find a new home.

[Italian designer Simone] Rebaudengo built a prototype... wiring five toasters with sensors and ethernet and programming them to keep track of how much the other four were being used. He coded a website where people could apply to be the 'host' for one of the toasters (ownership being a more fluid concept when toasters can pack up and leave -- or call UPS to get packed up, anyway.) Then he let them loose in the wild. Brad was installed at a co-working space in Shoreditch, London.

Philip K. Dick foresaw the era of robot salesmen of all kinds as long ago as 1954. In his eerily prophetic story Sales Pitch, he described the persistence of the robotic salesman that actually tries to sell itself:

"Get out of here," Morris said evenly. "Get out of my house and don't come back."

"I'm not your fasrad to order around. Until you've purchased me at the regular list price, I'm responsible only to Self-Regulating Android Inc. Their instructions were to the contrary; I'm to remain with you until you buy me."

"Suppose I never buy you?" Morris demanded...

"I'll continue to remain with you," the fasrad said, "eventually you'll buy me..."
(Read more about self-selling robotic salesman)

Update: Fans of the series Red Dwarf may also remember Talky Toaster. Watch this amusing encounter with Talky Toaster on Youtube.

I have too much stuff on my site; I actually covered the Talky Toaster artificially intelligent website in an article in 2009! (See Talkie Toaster AI Website - Would You Like Some Toast?.)

Thanks to Steven for sending in this comment. End update.

Via Wired UK.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 3/18/2014)

Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.

| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 3 )

Related News Stories - (" Robotics ")

MARLO Robot Attempts Wave Field
'It is apparent that he will walk before his human brother.' - Henry Slesar, 1958.

Walmart Shopping Cart Robots Will Follow You
'...the machine would carry his bag in its soft plastic jaws...' - John Brunner, 1975.

SpotMini Robot Pierson's Puppeteer-Style
Now they're kind of cute, right?

Elon Musk et. al. OpenAI Household Robot
'Any work a human being does around a house.' - Robert Heinlein, 1956.

 

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

 

Current News

SuperMeat - Crowdfunding Pohl/Kornbluth's Chicken Little
'Chicken Little, who would be sliced and packed to feed people from Baffinland to Little America.'

Martian-Grown Food Might Be Fine
'I donít want to come off as arrogant here, but Iím the best botanist on the planet.'

MARLO Robot Attempts Wave Field
'It is apparent that he will walk before his human brother.'

3RDiTEK Lifeblogging Headband Camera
'It's logging anyway - everything you see on duty goes into the black box.'

3D-Printed Biohybrid Is A Tissue-Engineered Robot
'The directing neurological tissue that forms the basis of the swibble is alive...'

Steerable Locusts Detect Explosives
Science fiction writers again provide a blueprint for the future.

No Human Drivers By 2040 - Israel
'It's been a criminal offense,,, to drive manually on a public highway.'

Graphene Ultracapacitor Airships For Heavy Lifting
'The war-balloons were to be kept for purposes of transportation of heavy articles...'

Uber Hires Robot Security Guard
'The robot studied the identification clip.'

Mind-Altering Drugs Administered Deep Into The Brain
'Happy to serve!'

Are There Diamond Planets?
'I believe the whole central portion of the earth is one great diamond.'

Robot Lawyers And Robot Judges Now Everywhere
'The law clerk arrived, a smallish robot with a battered stainless steel hide and dull coppery features.'

Roam-e Flying Selfie Drone Cam
'Tight mid-shot and pull out on but behind me...'

Chemputer To Grow Bespoke Drones Through Chemistry
'These are your rudimentary seed packages...'

Walmart Shopping Cart Robots Will Follow You
'...the machine would carry his bag in its soft plastic jaws...'

DoNotPay Lawyer Program Contests Parking Tickets
'I want my lawyer program.'

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.