Today at its CES 2015 press conference, Mercedes-Benz announces the F 015 Luxury in Motion concept car, an autonomous "cocoon on wheels" — a four-seat lounge with swiveling chairs and complete hands-off entertainment controls.
But my favorite part of Mercedes-Benz's CES 2015 press conference wasn't a self-driving cocoon, and it wasn't CEO Dieter Zetsche's mustache or amazingly dry sense of humor. It was Zetsche's cohost, a giant robotic eyeball on wheels named Cambot.
"Please excuse this guy, he's a little shy. He's not familiar with humans," noted Zetsche as he motioned to Cambot to join him on stage at the top of the show. Cambot would return later in the show after the F 015 debuted, projecting its own view onto the massive screen on stage behind it — so that every attendee inside The Chelsea theater could clearly see the concept car's posh interior. Cambot can do this, of course, because he's a giant robot on wheels, and that's awesome.
So how do we thank Cambot for all its hard work and support? For its selflessness in taking a backseat (no pun intended) to a larger, four-wheeled transport device?
We completely ignore him.
As soon as the show ended, the entire crowd rushed to the stage to gawk and photograph the grill of Luxury in Motion (not currently in motion). Cambot stood to the sidelines facing forward, like a member of the Queen's Guard on duty.
What do you think Cambot is wondering about right now? Is it sad? Is it hopeful? Does it have superior complex over organic life?
I just want you to know, Cambot, that I appreciate you.
Thank you, Cambot.