It's the Ham Bot that keeps me up nights.
December 15, 2011 3:52 PM   Subscribe

A spherical flying robot has been developed at the Japanese Ministry of Self-Defense; it can zoom along indoors and outdoors at speeds of up to 40 miles per hour, or just hover. Menacingly. Science Fiction In The News is a subsection of science-fiction site Technovelgy, which tracks both the predictions of future tech made in science fiction past and present and its manifestations in real life. What tech, you ask? Well, if it’s appeared in your nightmares, it’s probably been on this page: posted by Diablevert (28 comments total) 23 users marked this as a favorite
Spherical robot video no longer available. :(

But that smiling robot guard is going to give me nightmares.

also, flagged for some link errors.
posted by epersonae at 3:55 PM on December 15, 2011

A spherical flying robot... hover. Menacingly.

Does it look like this?
posted by nathancaswell at 3:58 PM on December 15, 2011 [1 favorite]

Here is the terrfying sphere, btw.
posted by Diablevert at 4:07 PM on December 15, 2011

Please make it look like this...
posted by FatherDagon at 4:07 PM on December 15, 2011 [1 favorite]

Somehow I feel like this post should stay. It's so cute. Robots are getting us. They even influence our linkage skills on metafilter...
posted by Namlit at 4:08 PM on December 15, 2011

Mod note: fixed the links, please use the flagging feature and presume we'll fix them, thanks.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 4:09 PM on December 15, 2011 [1 favorite]

Whatever, David Lo-Pan's had something like this flying around his basement in Chinatown since the 80s.
posted by Hoopo at 4:11 PM on December 15, 2011 [3 favorites]


'Have you seen this!' Flere-Imsaho yelped one day, floating quickly up to him in the pool's airstream cabinet, where Gurgeh was drying off. Behind the little machine, attached to it by a thin strand of field still coloured yellow-green (but speckled with angry white), there floated a large, rather old-fashioned and complicated-looking drone.

Gurgeh squinted at it. 'What about it?'

'I've got to wear the damn thing!' Flere-Imsaho wailed. The field strand joining it to the other drone flicked, and the old-looking drone's casing hinged open. The old body-shell appeared to be completely empty, but as Gurgeh - puzzled - looked closer, he saw that in the centre of the casing there was a little mesh cradle, just the right size to hold Flere-Imsaho.

'Oh,' Gurgeh said, and turned away, rubbing the water from his armpits, and grinning.

'They didn't tell me this when they offered me the job!' Flere-Imsaho protested, slamming the body-shell shut again. 'They say it's because the Empire isn't supposed to know how small us drones are! Why couldn't they just have got a big drone then? Why saddle me with this … this …'

'Fancy dress?' Gurgeh suggested, rubbing a hand through his hair and stepping out of the airstream.

'Fancy?' the library drone screamed. 'Fancy? Dowdy's what it is; rags! Worse than that, I'm supposed to make a "humming" noise and produce lots of static electricity, just to convince these barbarian dingbats we can't build drones properly!' The small machine's voice rose to a screech. 'A "humming" noise! I ask you!'

(from Iain Banks' The Player of Games)
posted by Zed at 4:16 PM on December 15, 2011 [5 favorites]

Add a laser/taser and it'd make a great Jedi training remote...
posted by darkstar at 5:19 PM on December 15, 2011

Here is the terrfying sphere, btw.

In all fairness, the scariness factor is far outweighed by the overwhelming cuteness of the chirpy Japanese tv reporter.
posted by KokuRyu at 5:22 PM on December 15, 2011

I Believe The Robots Are Our Future
posted by finite at 5:27 PM on December 15, 2011

Its not so much a flying spherical robot as a remote controlled helicopter wearing a spherical costume.
posted by memebake at 5:32 PM on December 15, 2011 [9 favorites]

Disguise it as a hornet's nest, hijinx ensue.
posted by benzenedream at 5:34 PM on December 15, 2011 [1 favorite]

Disguise it as the Monarch's nest, arching ensues!
posted by FatherDagon at 5:36 PM on December 15, 2011 [1 favorite]

Sorry hamboners, that's the sound of your jobs being replaced for forever. Please proceed to the unemployment benefits line, right this way behind the machinists and the newspaper type setters. Remember, you have 99 weeks to retrain yourself for a new career in the knowledge economy.
posted by T.D. Strange at 5:43 PM on December 15, 2011

It "cannot currently any extra weight", but spherical flying robot may one day be powerful enough to lift a very small camera. Menacingly.
posted by sfenders at 5:45 PM on December 15, 2011

I am holding out for a walking eye.
posted by Joey Michaels at 5:50 PM on December 15, 2011

robot jokes
posted by finite at 6:00 PM on December 15, 2011 [2 favorites]

Shout-out to the Gundam post. Haro!
posted by Slithy_Tove at 6:07 PM on December 15, 2011

I'm definitely getting a Beholder-y vibe from it.

Damn stupid waste of film D&D movie with the lame-ass CGI beholders and the over-the-top crappy-actor villain dude with the blue lipstick and the weak-ass hero and his teeth-grindingly inane comedic patter with the thief and the GRRRR I'M NOT BITTER!
posted by darkstar at 6:28 PM on December 15, 2011

Zed's post reminded me: How the hell do pronounce some of the names in Banks' stuff??
posted by Saxon Kane at 6:41 PM on December 15, 2011

Huh. Every time someone added a link, I was sure it was gonna be to this.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 6:43 PM on December 15, 2011

Any name in an Iain M. Banks novel that I cannot immediately think of an pronunciation for gets mentally pronounced "Irn Bru" until I learn otherwise.
posted by wobh at 7:23 PM on December 15, 2011 [5 favorites]

Was I the only one reminded of the city scanners from Half Life 2?
posted by dazed_one at 8:33 PM on December 15, 2011

Please make it look like this...

Thanks FatherDagon, now I'll hear that song in my head for the next week or so until I break down and watch the movie again.
posted by [insert clever name here] at 9:24 PM on December 15, 2011

A: Most of their free time is spent flying, but sometime they stab.
posted by vanar sena at 2:59 AM on December 16, 2011 [1 favorite]

finite: "I Believe The Robots Are Our Future"
Teach them well and let them lead the way
Show them all the beauty they possess inside
Give them a sense of pride to make it easier
Let the robots' laughter remind us how we used to be
posted by Barry B. Palindromer at 8:04 AM on December 16, 2011

Drones: A deeply unsettling future [link-rich Al Jazeera article by EFF's Trevor Timm]
posted by finite at 3:14 PM on December 20, 2011 [1 favorite]

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