We had to laugh at some of the robot news spoofs that came out on April Fool’s Day yesterday. If you know of any others, please share in the comments below.
From Domino’s blog:
We’re not doing it just for the ‘wow’ factor, there are a range of innovation benefits too –the space we save by not having a driver means the Domi-No-Driver can carry four times as many pizzas as our previous generation of PDVs (People Driven Vehicles). The fact we’ve developed on the L.I.D.A.R (Light Detection and Ranging) technology used in Google’s driverless cars and equipped our Domi-No-Drivers with H.U.N.G.A.R (Hunger Detection and Ranging) to help them detect and navigate real-time obstacles, shows just how safe and sophisticated they are.
According to Tesla: “No more parking tickets for Model S owners. Today we’re introducing: ticket-avoidance-mode. Watch how it works.”
We were tipped off to this prank by Fast FT:
The press release from emoov.co.uk seemed real, as robots could easily be programmed to bleat things like “properties in this area are going like hotcakes” and…”this is definitely in the catchment of an outstanding school”. We became cautious, however, on reading emoov founder Russell Quirk’s comment that: “There has been some conjecture around our robot agents going rogue and barging into random house’s, forcing their owners to sell.”
As property owners in the south east know, this behaviour is generally observed in human estate agents and is not considered by many in their industry as “rogue”. The unbelievable quote prompted us to treat the entire statement as suspect.
The press release even came with its own video…
From Parrot’s blog: “Today, after 2 years and 8 month of Research & Development, we are excited to introduce a new member of the drones family: The Flying Saucer Drone!”
Maybe not quite April Fools, but this time the joke’s on the sheep. And it works!
The article, from Thesame Innovation, mentions Tartifly.com – which promises hot tartiflette (a French dish from Savoie made with potatoes, cheese, lard and onions) delivered to your door for a fee. A stunt by the local tourism board perhaps? Hard to tell.
In this spoof from 24 Heures, Vaud cantonal police reveal that, to prevent traffic slowdowns over the upcoming holiday weekend, they will be deploying drones to catch cyclists who sneak on sidewalks and motorists that tailgate and weave through traffic, with images sent in real-time to a data processing centre in Blécherette. Most innovative, perhaps, is their plan to deploy two roving drones along a stretch of highway as speed traps. Loosely translated: “The drivers who regularly use our highways know exactly where speed cameras are located. Thanks to the discretion of our drones, they can be checked anywhere. It is essentially prevention.”
The Mayor of New Westminster had the same idea as the police in Vaud:
The 12-foot-tall iTrafficEnforcer1000 features green, yellow and red lights and surveillance cameras that are capable of sending real-time traffic information back to the city. The fearsome robot, which looks like a mash-up of the Arnold Schwazenegger cyborg character in The Terminatorand the robot from the TV series Lost in Space, can also “stare down” traffic violators while providing license plate numbers and vehicle descriptions to police.
Last, but certainly not least, from the Smithsonian blog:
The trick for the National Air and Space Museum was to display the plane in its jet formation. The plane has only been displayed publically in the propeller configuration. The new design was made possible by the plane’s shape shifting properties. Although The Museum of Flight staff was concerned about this formation change, they worked with our conservation staff so that the shift was safe and temporary. Once the shift took place the jet underwent a total review by our conservation department and appears to be in remarkable shape.
Notice the maintenance guy on the lift dusting the “plane”! Lol!