(Post by nerdbastards contributor Melissa Fouch Machowski)
I love robots. I love zombies. It occurred to me recently that the two share some qualities that make them admirable to any card-carrying sci-fi or horror fan. They’re relentless, they’re pre-programmed (if you will) to complete specific tasks, and humans find them threatening and irresistible all at once. Enter “The Uncanny Valley” as defined on Wikipedia:
The uncanny valley hypothesis holds that when robots and other facsimiles of humans look and act almost like actual humans, it causes a response of revulsion among human observers. The “valley” in question is a dip in a proposed graph of the positivity of human reaction as a function of a robot’s lifelikeness.
I found some examples of robots I’ve found to be wandering the uncanny valley.
1. Most Human-like — Akiba Robot Festival 2006 footage featuring a beautiful but creepy female robot.
2. Most Socio-Political — Survival Research Labs Marc Pauline, beloved freak of the underground talks about accompanying footage of some of his SRL robotic creations. If you’re not familiar with SRL, now is the time.
3. Scariest and Most Adorable At Once — Experimental US Military Robot
4. Most Full Of Himself — Dude. No wonder people were scared of robots! This is totally Zombie crossover territory.
5. Cheesiest Robot — Okay, well cheesiest robot dancer. I hate this guy more than I hate Robots or Zombies. He’s Uncannily gross.
There are lots of other great robot videos out there. Watch nerdbastards.com for more featured Oddities of the Uncanny Valley!