Seriously. I am 55 years old, and when I was a boy I was promised that by the time I turned 55 I’d own my own personal robot servant that would wear a tuxedo bow tie and clean my room for me. I’m a little bitter that this hasn’t come to pass. If the Phillies’ robot is state of the art, then the best I can hope for is a robot that will go to the fridge, grab me a beer, then drop it 30 feet from my barcalounger. Boo! Boo!
If I’d been at Citizens Bank Park this afternoon, I would have booed too. Or maybe not. The robot couldn’t throw a ball 60 feet 6 inches, but that doesn’t mean the robot didn’t have had laser beams in its hands or eyes that could scan the crowd along with a cell phone to recommend the booing fans for I.R.S. audits.
Don’t be fooled by the benign appearance of this particular robot. I can guarantee this: when advanced beings from other worlds send robots to conquer the Earth, those robots will be as adorable as a preschool Christmas pageant. We’ll all be saying “aw, how cute” as the invading robots disembark from their spacecraft, erase our memories and pack us into crates marked “Space Food”.
So, until the Phillies can show us a robot that can throw a fastball strike with some late movement, I doff my virtual cap to the Philly fans who so articulately expressed my feelings about robots. “Hey, dumb-bot! You couldn’t strike out a roomba, ya bum.”