Cyberpunk Review » Toy Robot poised to save the world… we hope.

October 12, 2008

Toy Robot poised to save the world… we hope.

Source: Wired, Hanson Robotics

Zeno, the robot who will save the world, maybe.

Meet Zeno, a robot who seeks to save humanity from evil. What could possibly go wrong with that?

A boy bot on a mission. Hailing from an “Inventing Academy” in the year 2027 where child robots learn to fight evil, an 18-inch tall boy robot has been sent back to present day to stop evil A.I.s from taking over the world. Apparently, John Conner has run out of reprogrammed T-800s and is reduced to sending toys back through time.

The next Terminator movie script? Nope. It’s the back story created by Hanson Robotics to introduce Zeno the RoboKind at the recent Wired magazine NextFest. The idea behind Zeno’s existence is a familiar one:

David Hanson, Hanson Robotics:

We want to be damn sure that by the time [robots] become as smart as we are, they have a conscience and compassion and that we are friends.,” Hanson said. “There’s no guarantee. They could be psychotic.”

There are other robots and projects that are trying to make living with robots easier and making our eventual mechanical successors friendlier, so Zeno may seem unnecessary. Then again, those projects don’t have the Terminator-esque back story that humans can relate to.


Living la Vida Beta. Zeno has been under development for the past couple of years, so he still has some technical issues to overcome yet before realizing his full potential. He already has the ability to “recognize” people thanks to face- and voice-recognition. Future abilities may include a WiFi connection to the Internet, and the ability to make and test theories about the world (conspiracy theorists, consider yourselves warned).

Hanson Robotics is looking to bring Zeno to market around 2010 where the full-sized (18″), fully-capable dude may sell for $1500 US. A smaller (6″), less intelligent version will be priced for $300 US.

Check out YouTube’s collection of Zeno videos.


October 13, 2008

Simon said:

Nice article, first I thought this somehow was connected to T4 *laugh*
But when it comes to robots, Keepon is the best. Just watch him and you WILL love him:

October 14, 2008

Burnt_lombard said:

“Making him the first Super toy!”

…and Super toys last all summer long.

This is just an overpriced furby.

Seph said:

I want one! ^_^

Mr No1 said:

With one of these in every home, Skynet will have it easy…

Anyway, I hope they change his voice, otherwise it’s gonna scare the shit out of children….

October 15, 2008

Bax said:

Does this mean in the future all robots will look like anime characters? Now THAT’S scary…

March 5, 2009

Nolaz010 said:

I’m just waiting for a better version to come out. ya know cloths, latex skin, no eyebrows, change the voice into a male kid *shiver* damn I hate robots like that… I’M GETTING ONE!!!…

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