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Let's count the ways this robot is fake

Let's count the ways this robot is fake


Fake and bad

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Watching the promo video above, you'd think that Andbot — a vaguely anthropomorphic "robot butler" on wheels — was the second coming of RoboJesus. Burning your breakfast? Andbot will tell you. Raising your children? Andbot can take care of it! Dying from the ravages of age? Not to worry: Andbot is here and it totally has your back.

Except, of course, it doesn't. We're not sure exactly who is trying to sell Andbot (an Indiegogo campaign for an earlier version of the same bot launched last year and raised $0), but we can guarantee that this "sneak peek" promo video is a lie. Let's count some of the ways Andbot doesn't add up.

1) Andbot doesn't have hands

Seriously. These plastic pincers are to hands what spoons are to knives. Can you see any moving parts? They might rotate at the wrist, but it doesn't look like they can even close. And even if they were capable of that, they'd hardly be able carry out any dextrous tasks — like pouring a glass of water or picking up a tray, as the video implies.

2) Andbot is dumb

The video suggests that with a bunch of sensors Andbot will be able to keep track of your home, detecting when someone falls over or is trying to break into your house. Now, these are the sorts of events that a robot could tell you about, but all you'd need are some sensors and an app. Why bother buying a robot to tell you someone is breaking into your house when you could just get an alarm?

3) Andbot is slow

Really slow. And it's only moving about on wheels! How is it going to save your children from jumping off a balcony if it could barely cross a room in time to stop an escaping tortoise. And have you got any stairs in your house, or just particularly deep carpets? Tough: you need an Andbot for every single horizontal plane.

4) Your children will hate Andbot

Your children have smartphones. And tablets. Tablets that don't come attached to robots. Andbot "cares more than you do," claims the weirdly pan-European presenter in the promo vid, but this obviously someone with extremely low standards about what constitutes decent parenting.

5) Andbot cannot detect Alzheimer's

Oh, come on, this is just silly. The video doesn't even try and attempt to explain how Andbot supposedly detects Alzheimer's. Can it perform genetic tests? Neurological exams? Maybe it just asks you if you have Alzheimer's and if you say yes, it flashes a sign reading "GO DOCTOR SOON EAT PILLS." Actually, a robot that just continually told me to go to the doctor would be pretty useful. I mean, eventually it would be right.

6) Here is a whole bunch of other stuff Andbot cannot do

On the robot's website there's a selection of about 50 or so extra functions. These include offering "wearing suggestions," using an "ultrasonic pest repeller," performing "clothing scans," taking your blood pressure, and helping you with "feminine care." Which, even if these functions were fully explained, wouldn't really be plausible or useful for a robot butler.

So, yeah. Goodbye Andbot. Don't let the door hit you on the way out. (Because it'll probably knock you over and I bet you can't get up by yourself either.)