A long time ago, in a ‘70s decade far away, we were promised an entire social caste of robots that would serve us.
And yet: bupkis.
Sure, there’s the factory robot, the customer service chatbot, and the humorously-bumps-into-everything Roomba, but where are the sentient butlers?
Santa Clara County, apparently, at Aloft Cupertino, where their adorable automated bellhop Botlr hits the ground this week.
We’re optimistic of what this bodes for our tech-assisted future.
Though, dear reader, we've been burned before.
Let us never forget those robo-specimens that failed to deliver along the way, metaphorically and literally. A brief hagiology:
Gordon Gekko’s robot butler in Wall Street
With its Bootsy Collins eyes and flailing arms, this robot is the surest indication that Gekko’s poor judgment would’ve driven him to insolvency without the SEC’s help.
Paulie’s buddy in Rocky IV
Every time you chuckle at this pointless machine, just know that it was intended as a therapy tool for autism. Sly brought it from home. Where he used it with his son. Tsk-tsk.
The house robot from Revenge of the Nerds
Potentially the saddest member of the Tri-Lam house: created, assigned a life of toil and destroyed by the Alpha Betas in the course of the film, but never given a name.
Total Recall’s Johnny Cab
Self-driving cars? No thanks. Self-driving cars with a Depression-era Buscemi droid at the wheel? Tout suite, mister.
Elysium’s Parole Officer bot
Sure, there are plenty of fully functional bots in this dystopian fever dream, but the robo P.O. speaks to our Kafkaesque expectations. F**k the po-lice indeed.