Editor’s note: This first post comprises the inaugural launch of HippoCrite, a humorous slant on smart topics. As French philosopher Hippolyte Taine (we like his name!) once wrote: “I have studied many philosophers and many cats. The wisdom of cats is infinitely superior.”


1. They’ve become masters of camouflage:

These two robots – the FACE android and the Geminoid robot – can accurately mimic dozens of human facial expressions. Now, why they chose to model them after Chronically Concerned Anjelica Huston and Beach Bum Alan Rickman, I’ll never know. But be forewarned, with those two B+ level celebrities in their repertoire, can Sam Rockwell or Julianna Margulies ever feel safe?

Want to know more about the engineering behind such realistic robotics? Read IEEE Spectrum’s “Hiroshi Ishiguro: The Man Who Made a Copy of Himself” or build your own computerized robot head for $600.

2. They’ve embedded themselves into the heights of our culture:

Sidestepping the Louvre, the MOMA, and the Prado, robots have targeted our true cultural peak—Spring Break.  Coca Cola’s Social Bot allows sick, injured, or just really lazy kids to experience all the fun of Spring Break—except for the booze, music, beaches, and girls—from the comfort of their own bedroom. But we wonder: how long before the Bots realize they can party on their own, and remove the need for the stay-at-home squares entirely? First they came for the nerds, and I said nothing. Then they came for the jocks, and I said nothing. And when they came for me, there was no one left to speak.

Socially interactive robots aren’t just for the Jetsons—they’re here now and you can learn all about them in this Robotics and Autonomous Systems paper, “A Survey of Socially Interactive Robots,” by Terrence Fong, Illah Nourbakhsha, and Kerstin Dautenhahn.

3. They’ve learned to impersonate our most fearsome creepiest animals:


We always thought robots would learn from lions, tigers, bears, but oh my, no. Robot fleas can jump thirty feet into the air, meaning no one is safe (unless you live on the fourth floor or above, in which case, stop showing off). And robot snakes…I mean do I even have to finish that sentence? Robot snakes. There are robot snakes.

Apparently animals are winning the hearts of robotics specialists across the world, or so says this BBC piece.

4. They’ve exploited our love of bad puns:

You want to build our cars or microwave our Lean Cuisines, fine by us. But our sense of humor is what makes us human. Or it was, until this stand up comedy bot came along. A generation of pale, self-deprecating losers will soon be out of a job and on the breadline (by which I mean working at Panera).

And in case you’re worried about these Seinfeld-esque robots taking over the world, read this book, How to Survive a Robot Uprising, by roboticist Daniel H. Wilson.

5. They’ve studied our mating patterns:

The Sensation Bot artificially mimics intimacy and affection, making it identical to two thirds of the population. With knowledge of our kinks, peccadillos, and fetishes, robots will be able to exploit our deepest desires and create an irresistible specimen. Spoiler: It will probably look like Tom Hardy.

6. They’ve really got this in the bag:


Full disclosure – the above reasons were mostly jokes.  But when we actually face robots on the battlefield, they’re going to straight up annihilate us.  I dare you to look at these little buggers flying in perfect formation and not pee your pants.

Robots are made of metal and hard polymers (even fuller disclosure: I have no idea what a polymer is), feel no pain, fear, or remorse.  Humans, on the other hand, are walking meat sacks that can die from: heat, cold, not enough water, too much water, disease, blunt force trauma, and choking on a chicken bone at Boston Market. Round One through Ten to the bots.

And if all that wasn’t enough to convince you of our imminent demise, even the world’s smartest man, who himself is 90% robot, is terrified of them, as The Independent reports.


Image credit: Elentir via flickr. C-3PO is a trademark of LucasFilm Ltd. Please don’t sue us.

About the Authors

Nikolai von Keller
Comedy Writer

Nikolai von Keller is a comedy writer in Los Angeles. His work has appeared on Comedy Central, Fark, Cracked, Funny or Die, Mondo Media, Dorkly, Channel 101, Current TV, and Toby Turner, among others. He also posts funny lists to this weird blog. He is currently producing a feature film noir spoof – Donnie Brock PI in…Knock Knock, Who’s Dead?—recently named Semi-Finalist in the LA Comedy Shorts Festival Screenwriting Competition and Finalist in the LA Comedy Festival Screenwriting Competition. If you know any millionaire investors, please let them know.

Benjamin Smolen
Comedy Writer

Benjamin Smolen is a comedy writer in Los Angeles. His work has appeared on Comedy Central, Fark, Cracked, Funny or Die, Mondo Media, Dorkly, Channel 101, Current TV, and Toby Turner, among others. He also posts funny lists to this weird blog. He is currently producing a feature film noir spoof – Donnie Brock PI in…Knock Knock, Who’s Dead?—recently named Semi-Finalist in the LA Comedy Shorts Festival Screenwriting Competition and Finalist in the LA Comedy Festival Screenwriting Competition. If you know any millionaire investors, please let them know.