Meet the misbehaving robots that are programmed to annoy you

Siyi Chen

Swiss-Mexican designer Nicole Pérez has a not-so-traditional idea to make robot companions more humanlike: make them more annoying.

“What if a robot would forget the keys in the car, or forget to buy the groceries? What if they can tease you and show affection through that? I think this is an area that hasn’t been explored in the field of automating intimacy,” says Pérez.

Pérez designed a series of misbehaving robots that basically do nothing but a series of annoying yet endearing little acts, like pinching your ear or poking you. You can watch them in action in the video above.

More art projects than commercial products, Pérez says her robots are designed to encourage people to rethink the relationship between humans and robots. She believes that the flaws of a partner strengthens a relationship, and that the same rule applies to both human relationships and human-robot relationships.

“If you’re not challenging a person in a relationship then it’s just not a relationship. Then you’re just having a toy.” says Pérez.

Besides the three robots you see in the video, Pérez just finished making a fourth one: The Tickler. She plans to create another one called The Farter, aka the farting blanket.

Note: This is something that can easily expand to robotic perps.

“Could our eyes be opened, we should see forms of evil angels around us, trying to invent some new way to annoy and destroy us. And we should also see angels of God guarding us from their power; for God’s watchful eye is ever over Israel for good, and He will protect and save His people, if they put their trust in Him. . . .

“Said the angel, ‘Remember, thou art on the enchanted ground.’ I saw that we must watch and have on the whole armor and take the shield of faith, and then we shall be able to stand, and the fiery darts of the wicked cannot harm us.”—Early Writings, p. 60.

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