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Japanese Horror Bot
August 2, 2010 11:20 AM   Subscribe

Video of horrific, Japanese maggot-man robot allegedly designed to act as a physical presence during phone calls. More info and photos here.
posted by picea (90 comments total) 17 users marked this as a favorite

 
KILL IT KILL IT KILL IT NOW!!!
posted by slogger at 11:23 AM on August 2, 2010 [8 favorites]


I want to learn how to grow knives instead of armpit hair.
posted by rhizome at 11:24 AM on August 2, 2010


Quit torturing the poor thing. Give it some legs or put it out of its misery.
posted by infinitywaltz at 11:24 AM on August 2, 2010


Must feel good to pummel it with a mallet after you get into an argument with your girlfriend on the phone.
posted by Liquidwolf at 11:24 AM on August 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


Tell us how you REALLY feel about this....
posted by HuronBob at 11:24 AM on August 2, 2010


They crucified Casper
posted by fire&wings at 11:24 AM on August 2, 2010 [24 favorites]


I can tell my feelings about this thing stem from a weird cultural mismatch, but I'm no longer sure if I'm just not as comfortable with shit like this as they are, or if they feel the same way about and it's all an elaborate self-aware joke.
posted by contraption at 11:25 AM on August 2, 2010 [4 favorites]


So wait, am I to understand that all you people read that description of the video, and then actually clicked on it? Deliberately?
posted by Naberius at 11:25 AM on August 2, 2010 [4 favorites]


At 38 seconds he touches it. I had to stop watching then.

Maggot man was nothing like what came to mind when I read it. Hard to believe that it was worse than what came to mind.
posted by Babblesort at 11:26 AM on August 2, 2010 [5 favorites]


Had this appeared in a disptopian science fiction film from the 1990s, I would have said, naw, nobody in the future would actually make something so horrific.

Never underestimate the future.
posted by Astro Zombie at 11:28 AM on August 2, 2010


horrific

Uh oh.

Japanese

UH OH!

maggot-man

UH OH!!

robot

Oh.

*views video*

That was less horrific, but more Japanese than I expected. The maggot-manicity was about the same, but in a different dimension.
posted by DU at 11:28 AM on August 2, 2010 [9 favorites]


I hear Hannibal Lecter has already ordered five for the living room and two for above the mantlepiece.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:29 AM on August 2, 2010


How long 'til someone has sex with one o' them things?
posted by Mister_A at 11:30 AM on August 2, 2010 [2 favorites]


Your awfully optimistic in assuming that no has yet.
posted by Babblesort at 11:30 AM on August 2, 2010 [6 favorites]



How long 'til someone has sex with one o' them things?


I'm guessing that was it's original use.
posted by Liquidwolf at 11:31 AM on August 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


Domo arigato Mr. Roboto Boxing Helena
posted by Burhanistan at 11:31 AM on August 2, 2010 [6 favorites]




This was made for Photoshop contests.
posted by Halloween Jack at 11:33 AM on August 2, 2010 [4 favorites]


Well, I was picturing something from The Fly, so that wasn't that bad.
posted by peep at 11:34 AM on August 2, 2010


/san loss.
posted by Artw at 11:34 AM on August 2, 2010


How long 'til someone has sex with one o' them things?


Would that be considered phone sex or masturbation?
posted by kuujjuarapik at 11:34 AM on August 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


This was made for Photoshop contests.

How about a caption contest?

"Sorry, hugs are for winners."
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:35 AM on August 2, 2010


I figured, "nah, can't be, 'horrific, Japanese maggot-man robot' has to be an exaggerated description based on some pop-culture reference I don't get", but, then I clicked the link, and I said to myself, "I'll be damned, if I'm not seeing a horrific maggot-man robot on the internet. "

Well, after I stopped screaming, that's what I said to myself.
posted by AzraelBrown at 11:36 AM on August 2, 2010 [6 favorites]


I found this pretty confusing even after I read the link, so I went to the maker's Web site to see if there was more info. I get the impression that they think there's some sort of "air of authority" that a physical, human-like presence in the room will have that you just can't get over the phone, and that's what they're going for? And apparently the previous incarnation of Telenoid, the Geminoid, was scrapped because it looked too human. Sounds like an Isaac Asimov story waiting to happen.
posted by Gator at 11:36 AM on August 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


JAPAN

"Should we try to make a robot that looks like a lovable pet, or should we go with something human-like, or should we pursue a more traditional mechanical look?"

"How about coagulated milk with a half-formed face?"

"Won't that be off-putting?"

"Nah, we'll just add some jerky twitching writhing movements to make it look friendlier."

JAPAN
posted by Greg Nog at 11:37 AM on August 2, 2010 [45 favorites]


Will not click.
posted by swift at 11:37 AM on August 2, 2010


Cripes, using a head-and-shoulders bust would have been infinitely less freakier, and probably just as expressive.
posted by PsychoKick at 11:40 AM on August 2, 2010


My husband said it's like talking to an amputee mutant.

I agree.
posted by Malice at 11:40 AM on August 2, 2010


At 38 seconds he touches it.

Heads up, for those of you who haven't watched the video yet: At 1:03 an orifice opens at the center of the robot, and it begins turning itself inside-out while reciting a list of your fears.
posted by Greg Nog at 11:41 AM on August 2, 2010 [59 favorites]


Inspired by Lilith?
posted by knave at 11:42 AM on August 2, 2010


At 38 seconds he touches it.

I first read this a "torches it" and I thought I should have watched longer.
posted by damehex at 11:46 AM on August 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


Japan: Colonizing the Uncanny Valley
posted by felix betachat at 11:50 AM on August 2, 2010 [17 favorites]


Admittedly, the design of the surrogate seems counter-intuitive, but I did not experience any horror.
posted by anazgnos at 11:51 AM on August 2, 2010


Thanks, I really didn't want to sleep at all tonight.
posted by thsmchnekllsfascists at 11:53 AM on August 2, 2010


I'm guessing that the plan is to eventually drape a shirt over it and maybe give it some makeup, and perhaps a hat. The next iteration (torso-maggot-debutante) will be way friendlier.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 11:55 AM on August 2, 2010


That or it will automatically pop out of peoples stomachs Kuato style whenever they take a call.
posted by Artw at 11:58 AM on August 2, 2010 [2 favorites]


A recent meme involves taking a strange photo and using it to represent some stereotype of a country, with a "Meanwhile, in ...." A good example is a photo of what appears to be a dead doe, unmarked but sprawled near a toilet, is marked "Meanwhile, in Canada ..."

This is definitely a "Meanwhile, in Japan ..."
posted by adipocere at 11:58 AM on August 2, 2010


RobotVoodooPower: I'm guessing that the plan is to eventually drape a shirt over it and maybe give it some makeup, and perhaps a hat.

I think this is how Michael Jackson was invented.
posted by him at 12:00 PM on August 2, 2010 [8 favorites]


It looks more like a baby seal with a human face.
posted by parmanparman at 12:01 PM on August 2, 2010


I'd think that it would be much more entertaining to have a surrogate that does not look remotely human. How about a talking ham sandwich with olives on toothpicks for eyes?
posted by XMLicious at 12:02 PM on August 2, 2010 [8 favorites]


I must be missing something, it's not really that freaky and it's clearly fake so...what's the problem with this thing again? Slap a wig on it and you'd have a puppet.
posted by evilelvis at 12:04 PM on August 2, 2010


The portable machine features a soft silicone body that is pleasant to the touch,

....and scream-inducing to the sight.
posted by scody at 12:05 PM on August 2, 2010 [2 favorites]


I say Torontonian mefites should all chip in and get one for David Cronenberg's place.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 12:13 PM on August 2, 2010 [3 favorites]


I'm usually easily squicked, but after expecting an animation of a man with a mass of squirming maggots for a face, I found this offspring of Caspar the Friendly Ghost and a Real Doll to be pretty tame.
posted by maudlin at 12:13 PM on August 2, 2010 [6 favorites]


It'll fight if it has to, but it's vulnerable out in the open. If it takes us over, then it has no more enemies, nobody left to kill it. And then it's won.
posted by shakespeherian at 12:14 PM on August 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


Reminds me of something from Funky Forest.

Totally weird/gross movie, but you know you want to see it.
posted by buriednexttoyou at 12:14 PM on August 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


I say Torontonian mefites should all chip in and get one for David Cronenberg's place.

"The Shape of Rage"
posted by Artw at 12:15 PM on August 2, 2010


Video of horrific, Japanese maggot-man robot allegedly designed to act as a physical presence during phone calls.

One ought not be horrified but instead hopeful that one day real maggot-men will no longer be used for this purpose.
posted by Anything at 12:16 PM on August 2, 2010 [5 favorites]


The more I learn about Japanese culture, the more convinced I become that they're not just foreign... they are alien beings. When they build stuff like this they are simply recreating their true likenesses. This explanation is the only way I can make sense of the utterly senseless.
posted by The Winsome Parker Lewis at 12:17 PM on August 2, 2010


Do spiders pour out of its mouth when you receive a call?
posted by orme at 12:20 PM on August 2, 2010 [15 favorites]


How long 'til someone has sex with one o' them things?

'til?
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 12:24 PM on August 2, 2010


I'm usually easily squicked, but after expecting an animation of a man with a mass of squirming maggots for a face, I found this offspring of Caspar the Friendly Ghost and a Real Doll to be pretty tame.

I too was expecting some horrible monstrosity with writhing maggots for a face. I wouldn't want the thing in the OP to come lurching towards me in an abandoned industrial complex, but I'm not necessarily scared by it.
posted by codacorolla at 12:25 PM on August 2, 2010 [1 favorite]




> I'm guessing that the plan is to eventually drape a shirt over it and maybe give it some makeup, and perhaps a hat. The next iteration (torso-maggot-debutante) will be way friendlier.

Yeah, because a mouthless, fishbelly-white mechanically twitching sealboy unceasingly staring at you while speaking with detached, multi-gendered voices is going to be far less disturbing when it's painted and dressed like RuPaul.
posted by ardgedee at 12:34 PM on August 2, 2010 [2 favorites]


I'm guessing that the plan is to eventually drape a shirt over it and maybe give it some makeup, and perhaps a hat.

Oh yeah, that looks pretty good, actually.
posted by Greg Nog at 12:37 PM on August 2, 2010 [13 favorites]


After I'd finished my phone call, it slowly turned it's head towards me and said in a little girl's voice "Are you my mummy?".

Then I threw a towel over it.
posted by Diag at 12:39 PM on August 2, 2010 [4 favorites]


Maybe you should let it join the Red Hat Society.
posted by Gator at 12:39 PM on August 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


This is part of an ongoing series project to smooth out the uncanny valley by desensitization to the deep end.
posted by Drastic at 12:46 PM on August 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


I feel like that's what Michael Jackson's baby would have actually looked like if he never really did have plastic surgery and it was all genetic.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 12:46 PM on August 2, 2010


M-m-m-max as a child.
posted by Mblue at 12:49 PM on August 2, 2010


Oh my god! It's Arturo, the Aqua Boy!
posted by ocherdraco at 12:52 PM on August 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


uncanny valley

Explain it to me in Star Wars!
posted by shakespeherian at 12:53 PM on August 2, 2010


Allow me: midichlorians.
posted by Mister_A at 1:02 PM on August 2, 2010


Yea, though I walk through the uncanny valley of the shadow of death . . .
posted by KingEdRa at 1:11 PM on August 2, 2010 [2 favorites]


It's like a William Castle movie set in Japan. With robots.
posted by blucevalo at 1:13 PM on August 2, 2010


XMLicious: "I'd think that it would be much more entertaining to have a surrogate that does not look remotely human. How about a talking ham sandwich with olives on toothpicks for eyes?"

"Hey guys, is there room at this table?"
posted by anazgnos at 1:19 PM on August 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


A - Where do they get the funds for these kind of things?
B - Can I get a check for something more productive, like paying my rent?
posted by Trielli at 1:20 PM on August 2, 2010


How about a talking ham sandwich with olives on toothpicks for eyes?

Here you go
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:41 PM on August 2, 2010


Orson Scott Card is a reprehensible human being, but he once wrote a truly chilling short story called "Eumenides in the Fourth Floor Lavatory". This thing immediately put me in mind of the way I envisaged the chilling baby-Fury horror in that story.
posted by Decani at 1:58 PM on August 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


How about a talking ham sandwich with olives on toothpicks for eyes?


For some reason reading this made me laugh out almond pieces on my keyboard.
posted by angrycat at 2:48 PM on August 2, 2010


Tastes like (robot) chicken
posted by not_on_display at 2:48 PM on August 2, 2010


They should make little ones in pastel colors filled with sweet bean paste.
posted by longsleeves at 2:53 PM on August 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


Features of Telenoid R1 include:
  • A novel minimalistic design that can effectively represent human presence
  • Soft and pleasant body
  • Low cost due to decreased numbers of actuators (Telenoid R1:9、Geminoid™ HI-1:50、Geminoid™ F:12)
  • Small-size body and simple internal structure by use of electric (DC) motors
  • Easy teleoperation based on the teleoperation technology developed by ATR
posted by blue_beetle at 2:55 PM on August 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


I used google translate on one of the Japanese comments and I have no idea what it means, but it's as vivid and squirmy as maggot-boy:


>[kimoi] and heart it passes.West cutting off the hand and foot thickly with the movie of the empress, the torture which inserts the human in the pig shed you remembered
posted by merelyglib at 3:28 PM on August 2, 2010


Maggot Man: Mal. Guy killed me, Mal. Killed me with a sword...
posted by Short Attention Sp at 3:38 PM on August 2, 2010


The more I learn about Japanese culture, the more convinced I become that they're not just foreign... they are alien beings.

This was developed in Osaka, where they put Worcestershire sauce on fried rice and curry, when "shot" with one's finger make a display of falling down, and say "nande ya nen" a lot.

We in the rest of Japan likewise find this robot kind of weird.

That is all.
posted by armage at 4:02 PM on August 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


Oh my god, I must keep my wife from seeing this lest she die of the creeps.
posted by BrotherCaine at 4:03 PM on August 2, 2010


How long 'til someone Takashi Miike has sex makes a movie with one o' them things?

Maybe costarring its friends, Robot Mouth and Birthing Robot.
posted by louche mustachio at 4:09 PM on August 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


How long 'til someone Takashi Miike has sex makes a movie with one o' them things?

Maybe costarring its friends, Robot Mouth and Birthing Robot .


Yeah Takashi Miike can make some very disturbing movies indeed, but seriously he's going to be hard pressed to one up that 2nd link of the birthing robot, that was seriously disturbing. You couldn't even speed it up and play the Benny Hill theme music to make that one funny.
posted by Merlin The Happy Pig at 6:27 PM on August 2, 2010


While watching the video I kept trying to figure out "how do they power this thing with maggots?" Somehow I thought they stuffed a silicone body with 1000 of writhing maggots to make it more "lifelike". Like a RealDoll made of nightmares.

Then the cute old man touched it. And I realized maggot referred to it's shape, not it's "software".
posted by fiercekitten at 6:42 PM on August 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


MetaFilter : Like a Realdoll made of nightmares
posted by radiosilents at 6:59 PM on August 2, 2010 [2 favorites]


I'm pretty sure this is actually how evil wizards communicate, using homunculi made from ectoplasm, damned souls, and rendered-down unicorns.
posted by hattifattener at 7:21 PM on August 2, 2010 [2 favorites]


Hi, I'm Chucky, and I'm your friend till the end. Hidey-ho!
posted by Fizz at 7:32 PM on August 2, 2010




I always wondered what happened to the baby from Eraserhead.
posted by brevator at 9:50 PM on August 2, 2010 [3 favorites]


My first instinct is to shoot it, but that's because I've been staying up late playing Dead Space.
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 9:18 AM on August 3, 2010


I was expecting something along the lines of this.

Warning: really gross.
posted by Solomon at 9:21 AM on August 3, 2010


> Warning: really gross.

Yes, that statement is apt. Um....yes. At least he didn't get that from eating sushi, though.

I'm numb to those pictures at the moment but am afraid that I'll be jolted awake one night after dreaming about them.
posted by Burhanistan at 10:08 AM on August 3, 2010


I'm guessing that if you decide not to take the call, it jumps down and writhes across the floor towards you until you answer it. Or it kills you. Whichever comes first.
posted by essexjan at 9:55 AM on August 4, 2010 [2 favorites]


Now also for Wii!
posted by sveskemus at 6:28 AM on September 1, 2010


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