Robots With Charm
When travellers recall that their waiters were like robots, it's not usually a compliment. But Vienna's Roboexotica exhibition is turning the old cliche on its head.
Roboexotica acts as a forum for budding Dr Frankensteins who want to create robots with personality. 100% efficiency is not the be all and end all here. Rather, idiosyncracy and style are the keys. Enter the robot who chats up ladies, cracks jokes and breaks out the cigars.
"Hey you sweet thing, ever had a date with a robot?"chants Chapok, a forward fellow with a penchant for the fairer sex.
"You want what?" Chapok barks at a male customer. " Order yourself a drink for a man, you girl!"
Stars from past years have numbered a robot who prods people to buy him a drink, and a wily rascal who offers to light someone's cigarette but ends up smoking it himself.
Budding mad inventors keen to try their luck have not lost their chance. The event is annual and open to all comers. However, robots are required to have skills in at least one of the following categories:
1. Serving cocktails
2. Mixing cocktails
3. Bar-tending conversation
4. Lighting cigars/cigarettes
5. Other achievements in the sector of cocktail culture
Hmmm. That last one's an intriguing option. Perhaps there's a window for a vigilante barman, something akin to Travis Bickle in Taxi Driver?
"You talkin' to me?" our robot declares. "You talkin' to me? You talkin' to me? Then who the hell else are you talking to?.... Well I'm the only one here."
Our valiant robot now proceeds to hurl the drunken stag-nighter head first out of the bar..... Genius!
Info from Roboexotica and Reuters