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 ")

ElliQ Robot To Help Israel's Grandmas And Grandpas
'The robant and the tiny old woman entered the control room slowly...' - Philip K Dick, 1953.

Robot Motion Planning 10K Times Faster
'The robot crab... fired a burst of light, then froze...' - William Gibson, 1984.

Festo's eMotionButterfly, AirJelly And AirPenguin Robots
... Bright beings darted through the hot light.' - Rudy Rucker, 1988.

Robot Animals Set To 'Spy in the Wild'
'[The electric sheep], sophisticated piece of hardware that it was, chomped away in simulated contentment...' - Philip K. Dick, 1968.

 

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

Cormorant Flying Car
'The cab came floating down out of the sky...'

ElliQ Robot To Help Israel's Grandmas And Grandpas
'The robant and the tiny old woman entered the control room slowly...'

EU Debates Kill Switches For Robots
'I have a mechanism which our autofac on Mars builds as an... emergency safety...'

Scotland Set To Implement Basic Income
'Earned by just being born.'

Sales Robots More Persistent Than Humans
'Robot-salesmen were everywhere, gesturing,,, shrilling...'

AI Identifies Suicidal Behavior With 93 Percent Accuracy
'...He padded into the living room, and seated himself by the suitcase; he opened it, clicked switches, and turned on Dr. Smile.'

Razer Project Valerie Laptop Unfurls
'A paper thin polycarbon screen unfurled silently...'

Can Virtual Reality help People Cope With Pain?
Research is promising.

Dust Movement On The Moon, Saturn's Rings Solved
'...The dust normally on the surface picks up and keeps a charge.'

Largest Micro-Drone Swarm Release Successful
'... Programmed to hang in space in a hexagonal grid pattern.'

Robot Motion Planning 10K Times Faster
'The robot crab... fired a burst of light, then froze...'

Reconfigured Graphene 10X Strong, 5 Percent Dense, As Steel
'...It was made of Alohydrolium, which is the lightest of all metals.'

Axiom - The World's First Private Space Station?
'So Webb Foster had built his space laboratory... It was a great crystal sphere, a thousand feet in diameter.'

DataTraveler Ultimate Generation 2 Terabyte Flashdrive
'A man or woman could carry AIs or complete planetary data spheres...'

HyperFace Aims To Foil Facial Recognition
'...A million and a half physiognomic fraction-representations of various people.'

MIT's aeroMorph Technology
'... It falls into that structure like a rubber figure returning to shape.'

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.