Robots are genius. Prada knows it – their cute keychain robots were insanely popular, even with their not-so-cute pricetags. Colette, the uber-design store in Paris, has cartoon robots to welcome you to their website. All sorts of cool and funny stuff grabs a bit of robo-cred: Futurama, Knight Rider, Bladerunner, Austin Powers’ sexy fem-bots, Transformers, Radiohead’s Paranoid Android, Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots by the Flaming Lips, and especially Kiwi comic artist Toby Morris’ Pirate Technics strip, featuring robo-pirate DJ wars.
Robots are best when they are not trying to be too human, which is why R2D2 beats C3PO and Number 5 from Short Circuit is much cooler than ‘David’ from Artificial Intelligence. So we were very excited to see the preview for the film Wall-E (out in September) – it’s about a super-adorable clean-up robot left on Earth after humans trash the place and nip off to another galaxy. In fact, Wall-E’s kinda of a mash-up of our favourite movie robots – director Andrew Stanton admits his look may have been influenced by Short Circuit, and Wall-E’s voice is provided by the legendary Ben Burtt, the voice behind R2D2’s whistles and chirps.
It makes us want our very own adorable clean-up robot, but they’re probably a way off. In the meantime, we’ll make do with a Roomba. It’s a flat, circular little vacuum-robot that happily vroombas around your house, sucking dirt up off your floor, reversing when it boinks into walls and driving your dog or cat totally insane. Who knew cleaning house could be so much fun?