Initial Robot Singer Inconvenient First Public Performance


It’s been a banner year for those of us who dreamed of wearing Star Trek pajamas and Beatle Boots and zooming around the universe. On the transporter front, some Dutch scientists recently figured out how to do something that is, well, pretty much like beaming matter from one place to the other.

On the cloaking front, first introduced by the Klingon, of course, another team has demonstrated the principal of invisibility, although not yet in a visible light range. There’s bad news on the universal translator front, however. Moreover, it’s related to a setback in our quest to build Data.

This gets complicated. First, you can go to the Engadget story about the failure of a talking robot. Here’s the gist of the story:

Ok, listen up folks, we have some very sad news to announce from South Korea: the legendary Ever-2 Muse robot cancelled her appearance at the RoboWorld 2006 in Seoul. All we know is that this singing humanoid suffered some version of electronic stage fright and was unable to perform as planned, leaving legions of shocked and angered Korean fanboys to start chucking kim chee at the stage (ok, we made that last part up).

Engadget, October 18

Things get interesting when you click on the image of the robot, which takes you to a translation of the original Korean page via Google Translator. Yow. Here’s some of that:

The robots which are various the domestic robot enterprises made gathered today in one place.

The world also to be like this acts at class speed but to under guessing it did and it rolled up and today robot public performance which it expects preparation insufficiently inconvenient viscosity was many.

The journalist whom it kicks blowing got back.

Here’s the attribution from the end of the article, which I am sure you will think I am making up:

(The journalist whom it kicks blowing)

[Copyright it sleeps, (c) MBC ( no permission reproduction – cultivation gun prohibition]

I’m not sure if this is a failure or if it’s evidence that the Internet is haunted by Samuel Becket. Do undergraduate creative writing / poetry students know about this yet?

October 29, 2006 Note: A kind reader reminded me that the Romulans not the Klingons, invented the cloaking device.

About Ray Watkins

I was born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, at Our Lady of the Lake Hospital. I grew up in Houston, as a part of what we only half-jokingly call the Cajun Diaspora. At a certain point during the Regan administration, I had to leave, so I served in the Peace Corps, Philippines, from 1987-89. I didn't want to return to the United States just yet, so I moved to Paris, France, where I lived for three years or so. I then moved back to Austin, Texas, where I had received my Masters Degree, and (eventually) began a Ph.D., which I completed in 1999. I spent a year at Temple University and then accepted a position at Eastern Illinois University where I worked until May of 2006. I now work exclusively on line (although that may change) for Johns Hopkins, the Art Institute Online, and I can be reached most easily via email: raywatkins [that 'at' symbol]

2 Thoughts on “Initial Robot Singer Inconvenient First Public Performance

  1. Ralph Norman on October 28, 2006 at 1:42 pm said:

    The cloaking device was invented by the Romulans

  2. Yow, I must have just lost 10 nerd-boy points for that mistake! Thanks.

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