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 ")

Liquid Metal Shape-Changing 'Soft Robotics'
'A mimetic poly-alloy... 'What the hell does that mean?'' John Cameron, 1991.

Walmart’s Autonomous Robot Bees
Are you allergic to autonomous robot bees?

Soft Robotics - Now With 3D Printed Sensors!
'A series of chemelectric afferent nerve-analogues, which permitted it to gauge to an ounce the amount of pressure necessary to snap a bone...' - Roger Zelazny, 1966.

Scaly Yet Soft Robotic Snake
Love those robotic sneks.

 

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

IBM's Grain Of Sand Computer
'Our ancestors... thought to make the very sand beneath their feet intelligent...'

Liquid Metal Shape-Changing 'Soft Robotics'
'A mimetic poly-alloy... 'What the hell does that mean?''

The Hammock Caravan And Italo Calvino's Octavia
'Now I will tell you how Octavia, the spider-web city, is made.'

Super-Resolution Microscopy Provides '4D' Views
View the magnified interior of living cells.

Have I Seen The Tesla Roadster Story Before?
'Only it wasn't a vessel. It was an automobile...'

Watch 'Do You Trust This Computer' For Free Today
Thanks for making this available, Elon.

Self-Driving Car Ticketed
This just missed making my day.

Elon Musk Tweets Versions Of Clarke's Operation Cleanup
'Fortunately, the old orbital forts were superbly equipped for this task.'

Burner Generates Temporary Phone Numbers
'Interesting phone system he's got, by the way...'

Walmart’s Autonomous Robot Bees
Everyone loves bees.

EA Created AI That Taught Itself To Play Battlefield
Harmless fun for computer scientists.

Is Teleportation A Death Sentence?
'A long trail of dead, he thought, left across the stars...'

New Brain Scanner Lets You Move Around
'In Bob Arctor's living room his thousand dollar custom-quality cephscope crafted by Altec...'

Can An Entire Brain Be Simulated In A Computer?
'The miles of relays and photocells had given way to the spongy globe of platinum iridium about the size of the human brain.'

Physicists Try To Turn Light Into Matter
If E=mc squared, then... m=E/c squared!

Save Your Brain's Connectome, Upload Yourself Elsewhere
'You've got remote storage. How regular is the update?'

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.