Some robots are designed to kill human beings. Others are designed to kill other robots. But when there’s nothing left to kill, what do we do with our robots? We make them play sports. TOPIO began development in 2005 as a humanoid robot designed to play table tennis. Built by a Vietnamese robot firm, TOPIO confirms at least two things for us: mankind has run out of useful things to do as a whole and Vietnam has robot firms, apparently.
TOPIO’s main features are the ability to recognize fast moving objects, to react to fast moving objects and to maintain balance. In other words, TOPIO does what any human would do if they took up the lost art of table tennis. Unlike your typical table tennis enthusiast, however, TOPIO looks like this:
Is this part of the T-1000′s vacation slides? If the goal of TOPIO was to build a robot that would mindlessly play a tier-three sport and not cause those who see it to cry out in fear, then mission failed. The shades say “I’m going to kill you, fleshbag,” while the jacked physique says “No, really, I’m going to kill you. And no one’s going to stop me because the laws of men don’t apply to a machine. If you’d read Issac Asimov in high school you would have known that already.