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 ")

M-Blocks 2.0 Self-Assembling Robots
'Faster the cubes moved...' - Abraham Merritt, 1920.

Digit V2 Bipedal Robot From Agility Robotics
Oh, and now I suppose someone will develop the robotic porch pirate.

Hail SmartCan! Your Trash Bin Takes Itself Out
'...a waste can twenty feet away stirred into life.' - Harry Harrison, 1959.

Robot Tuna Swims As Fast As Nature's Tuna
'With one fluid motion, it surged forward, plunged, and was gone.' - Michael Swanwick, 2002.

 

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

Road Noise Charges Electric Cars With Peugeot Piezoelectric Billboard
''... major cities of Earth have free electrical power conveniently processed from their own noise.'

Unsinkable Metal Latest Gates Obsession
'A metal... light as cork.'

M-Blocks 2.0 Self-Assembling Robots
'Faster the cubes moved...'

NASA 'Broomstick' Recalls SciFi Ideas
'The appearance was enough like a giant witch's broom to justify the nickname.'

Orbital Display's Low Earth Orbit Advertisements
'A vast circle of scarlet stars came up into the greenish desert dusk.'

Neuromorphic Computing Hardare
'He had constructed an organ, a brain, of metal, entirely inorganic and lifeless...'

Vascularized Human Skin 3D Printed
Hey Fishboy!

Trillionaires Still Earth-Bound
'I shall never forget the sight... when the yellow gleam of the precious metal appeared under the star dust.'

Digit V2 Bipedal Robot From Agility Robotics
Oh, and now I suppose someone will develop the robotic porch pirate.

3D Printed Dubai Building Is World's Largest
'This thing will start at one end of ...a house and build it complete to the other end, following drawings only.'

Grow Plants On Moon Or Mars!
'In contrast to the airless desolation outside, the interior of this five-acre greenhouse was the one most desirable place to be.'

California Gets Shockwave Rider-Style Avoidance Zones
'It was cheaper to pay the refugees to go without up-to-the-minute equipment.'

Microbot Interstellar von Neumann Explorers
'Evidently they have never had a planet of their own...'

Hail SmartCan! Your Trash Bin Takes Itself Out
'...a waste can twenty feet away stirred into life.'

Finally! Microsoft Surface Neo And Surface Duo Implement Excellent Courier Idea
'Runcible, whose pages were thicker and more densely packed with computational machinery...'

Tap Strap 2 Now With Air Mouse
'He waved his hand and the circuit switched abruptly.'

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.