Ginger the LOLbot

We need all the laughs we can get - even if the source is mechanical. Meet Ginger the joke-telling robot, or as you might say, a LOLbot (as opposed to RoboThespian, which has talents in addition to humor). BTW, Technovelgy readers should have little difficulty recognizing Aldebaran Robotics' Nao robot.


(Ginger the LOLbot)

"If you prick us in our battery pack, do we not bleed alkaline fluid?" asks Ginger the Robot, haltingly throwing up its arms in its best impression of a real-life comedian.

Truth be told, if Ginger were a human it'd be dying on stage. The cute little machine's monotone voice has all the drama of a conveyer belt, while its expression is as vacant as a doll.

Comedic timing is hard to master -- particularly when you have no emotions.

Luckily for Ginger, sitting beside it is comedy sidekick -- and programmer -- Heather Knight.

"When it talks about its 'perception capabilities still being in development' -- that gets a laugh almost every single time," explained Knight, who programs all of Ginger's dialogue and movements herself. "People love when it goes all super-techy and acts like a real robot.

"One of the things I've learned from interviewing comedians over the years, is that part of what makes a performance compelling is authenticity. If you're going to be a comedian, you need to bring material from yourself."

Is the idea of a joke-telling robot an old gag? Maybe. In his 1951 short story The Jester, William Tenn introduces sf audiences to the idea of a robot comedian:

"You changed his shape!" Lester yelped accusingly, "I sent you a smooth-lined twenty-two hundred and seven model with the cylindrical trunk. You bring back a pear-shaped piece of machinery looking like a wadjacallit - as if it had a paunch all the way around!"

"Look, sir, the techs just had to expand his midsection. Even on microwire that file of jokes took up a lot of space... More space, more weight. But let me turn him on..."
(Read more about William Tenn's robot comedian)

From CNN.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 10/28/2014)

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 ( 1 )

Related News Stories - (" Robotics ")

Robots Help People Get Dressed, As Predicted In 1931
Yes, people of the future, robots will dress you.

Robot Snake Flies, Fights Fires
Just a prototype, but shows real promise.

IPAL Chinese Robot Babysitter
'But Nanny is different...' - Philip K. Dick, 1955.

DIY Autonomous Robot Detects Trash
'The search-bug detached itself and rolled forward.' - Philip K. Dick

 

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

SWEEPER Robot Peter Piper Picking Peppers
'... little machines, that went from plant to plant, apparently on caterpillar tracks, cutting off the ripe fruit.'

Oil from Algae - Can It Be Done?
'We dump everything that's waste into the tanks, pump the oil off the top.'

Moving Whole Planets, Revisited
There was a lot of work done on this idea over the years.

Disney Keeps Backups Of Star Wars Franchise Actors
'She is a personality-construct, a congeries of software agents...'

Farming In Space Starts With Mycorrhiza
'The inner leaves were beginning to curl faster than the outer leaves.'

Jaguar I-Pace Audible Vehicle Alert System For EVs
'Of course not a vehicle moved by means of internal explosions of a derivative of rock oil...'

Autonomous 'Fiberbots' Weave Large Structures
'It extrudes material like a spider.'

Birds Aren't Real - Wake Up, California! (With Bird Watching Guide)
'When he had first built them, they had been crude indeed, flying mechanisms with little more than a reflex-response unit.'

Self-Healing Material Pulls Carbon Out Of The Air
'... could seal the punctures.'

IRL Glasses Block Screens, Limit Vision To Real Life
'If you couldn't see the ads, how would you know what was fashionable?'

Testing The Single-Person Spacecraft
'...the lower part of the suit was simply a rigid cylinder.'

Shapeshifting Materials Transform By Light
'Its lines wavered, flowed, and then painfully reformed.'

Fully Automated Farm Iron Ox Hydroponics
'Had these machines in some incredible fashion been provided with brains?'

BrainNet Social Network Of Brains
'I used my implant to tell MILLIE what we wanted and she took care of it'

Phil Nuyttnn's City Under The Sea
'Under the lower roof there was no water, but a clear and luminous atmosphere...'

IONITY Opens First 10 Fast-Charging Stations
'Recharge the batteries... in almost every town and village...'

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.