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 ")

Flying Dragon Robot Transforms In Mid-Air
Terrific prototype video.

MXene Hydrogel Skin For Robots Flexes And Senses
'The plastex swam and whirled like boiling toothpaste...' - JG Ballard, 1962.

Drywall Robot Looking For Sheetrock
Sheetrockers have sure changed since my day. Speaking as someone who as done this, I welcome robots.

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

 

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

Spicy Tomatoes Created With Genetic Engineering
How about mashed potatoes and brown gravy?

Driverless Hotel Rooms Predicted In 1828
'Did you never see a moving house before?'

Yandex Self-Driving Taxi Is Very Smooth
'The big car was slowing down, its computer brain sensing an exit ahead.'

Shrimp Actually Made Of Algae Is A New Wave Food
Bring in that crop algae.

Cosplay Style Wings Could Work On Moon
'They're lovely! - titanalloy struts as light and strong as bird-bones...'

Tesla Model 3 Has Outside Speaker Grille
Robert Heinlein does it again.

Arizona Luddites Attack Self-Driving Vehicles
'Trucks don't drive by themselves...' Or do they?

Organaut! Russians 3D Print Living Tissue In Space
'For a while your colonists will have to come up [to orbit] to the Hospital...'

WINE Spacecraft To Extract Water From Asteroids
'Yes, strangely enough there was still sufficient water beneath the surface of Vesta.'

Japanese Swordsmiths Take On Asteroids
'... a tiny, rocket-powered projectile, drove towards the mysterious bulk.'

Saturn's Rings To Vanish, Let's Mine Them While We Can
'...the valuable shards of what had once been satellites.'

Humans Could Take Up A LOT Less Space
We'd have a lot more room for gardening...

Implosion Fabrication Shrinks 3D Objects To Nanoscale
'Carter had watched miniaturization a hundred times...'

GMO Houseplant Cleans Your Air
Removes compounds too small to be captured by a HEPA filter.

Nova Meat Can 3D Print Your Dinner
Printing out chicken nuggets.

MIT Scientists Create 'Peek-a-Boo Prober' From Jetsons
Well, George, it's the latest thing.

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.