Friday, December 20, 2013

Holiday Robot Video Rundown

If you're my age, you grew up with the Jetson's promise that by the year 2000 we would have amazing things like flying cars, moon colonies, and robot butlers. We didn't get them.

Okay, it's true that we have an amazing communication network that nobody could have predicted. But, come on, is that really as cool as the other stuff? okay, okay, if a moon colony were established tomorrow, I probably wouldn't move there until I can get a house near a lake. And the day everyone gets flying cars is the day the ground is littered with the burning remains of mid-air collisions. But robots are different. We are living in the future, so why aren't there more amazing robots to do our household chores? At the very least, I think we should all get some robots for Christmas. Here are my picks.

Everybody knows the Roomba, and it continues to amaze me that something that something that was once in a Ray Bradbury story ("There Will Come Soft Rains") is now swiftly becoming ubiquitous in America. Plus, that commercial with the people dancing the robot was really cool.

If you think that's cool, there's a group in South Korea working on a robot, Mahru-Z, that can do household chores just like Rosie the robot maid in the Jetson's. Here's a vid of Mahru fetching tea and toast... with a lack of grace that makes C-3PO look like Captain America. But, hey, it's coming along. 

Want a little more firepower? Try the Kuratas, a personal mecha-suit you can actually own. For real. (May not be road legal in your city.)

You can customize your model, and prices start at only 1.3 million USD. Please, Santa, please! I've been good all year and I promise not to fire the water missiles in the house!

Be good, and dream crazy dreams,

Sechin Tower is a teacher, a table-top game designer, and the author of Mad Science Institute. You can read more about him and his books on and his games on

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