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 ")

Robotic Exoskeleton Releases Man From Wheelchair
'This man was standing on two corrugated-soled titanium footplates...'- Fritz Leiber, 1968.

Oh, Just Let Robots Run Airports
I'd like a friendly robot to help me at airports. Especially the bag-carrying part.

Why, Oh Why, Must We Develop Robots That Run Faster Than I Do?
'The legs are long, curled way up to deliver power, like a cheetah's.'- Neal Stephenson, 1992.

Golf Robot Putts Out
'The robot solemnly hit a ball against the wall, picked it up and teed it, hit it again, over and again...' - Frederik Pohl, 1954.

 

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

Hackers Can Take Control Of Cars From Anywhere In The World
'The car faltered as the external command came to brake...'

Armed Drone Opens Fire
'Each a television eye and a sonic stunner...'

Robotic Exoskeleton Releases Man From Wheelchair
'This man was standing on two corrugated-soled titanium footplates...'

Oh, Just Let Robots Run Airports
I'd like a friendly robot to help me at airports.

How Smart Should AI's Be Allowed To Get?
'Every AI ever built has an electromagnetic shotgun wired to its forehead'

NASA Misses $5Trillion Funding Boost
'This must be a golden planet—this little asteroid.'

Kuwait Creates Mandatory DNA Database For Citizens
And who has the largest DNA database on its citizens?

Please, Please Let There Be Regenerated Teeth
'Toothbud transplants...'

Google AI 'Deep Dreams' Kubrick's 2001
'I was only trying to do what I thought best....'

The BLITAB: First Tactile Tablet for Blind People
Absolutely amazing development - now blind people can read the web!

Why, Oh Why, Must We Develop Robots That Run Faster Than I Do?
'The legs are long, curled way up to deliver power, like a cheetah's.'

Golf Robot Putts Out
'The robot solemnly hit a ball against the wall, picked it up and teed it, hit it again, over and again...'

Computer Finds Cancer Doctors Miss
The computer will see you now.

Would Robot Taxis Ease Carbon Emissions?
'He emerged and flagged down a robot taxi...'

Brainwaves As Biometric Identification
'The doors of Mr. Lars, Incorporated, shut, tuned as they were to his own cephalic pattern.'

What-If Machine Concocts Creative Premises
'Books were just a commodity that had to be produced, like jam or bootlaces.'

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.