When we first saw Robert Ito's Pacific Standard piece on folks who've fallen in love with their robots, we were all....huh? So of course, we booked him on the show. You can listen to that interview here:
But all that talk about human-robot love got us thinking...if a robot is the love of your life, how do you show it? Here are some ideas we dug up:
1) Buy him a snazzy costume!
iRobot's Roomba vacuum cleaner has inspired no shortage of reddit memes, cat videos, and jealousy from those of us with human-powered floor-suckers. But you might not know it's also the inspiration for a line of costumes, from a company called myRoomBud. Good idea, right? RIGHT?
2) How about a trip to Japan?
There's no doubt your robot paramour will feel more at home in Japan, which, for many robots, can accurately be called home. Place of origin aside, there's no other place where your robot will feel as accepted. Japan, after all, has embraced robots as caretakers in nursing homes, creepy fake-patients for dentists-in-training, and most awesomely, as adorable baby therapy seals for victims of the 2011 tsunami. Check the love out, and then get to booking those tickets for you and your gear-driven sweetie:
3) Proper care and maintenance...
It's a mistake to think your beloved robot is low-maintenance, especially if you want your relationship to last a lifetime. The good news is, the nice folks at FANUC Robotics are ready and willing to help you with all your robotic service needs. So, there's that.
4) Buy her a pet!
Robot feeling a little lonely without someone to snuggle with? How about the latest in robotic pets for your artificial friend? There's a whole range, from the i-SODOG from Takara-Tomy, a tiny puppy-sized cutie full of electronic life, to the slightly more menacing hound being developed at DARPA as the next dog of war.
5) Play Gagnam Style...and let him dance.
It sure worked for CHARLI-2. First designed by the military to study bipedal walking and human movement, CHARLI's latest iteration seems downright at home doing the invisible horse dance we've all come to love. Take a look: