For those of you who worry that robots may one day take over, don’t fret just yet. Thanks to this week’s Saturday Night Live sketch, we may have found their kryptonite: cell phones.
That’s right, according to SNL, permanently disabling airplane mode can thwart robotic plans for world domination.
The latest episode of the late-night comedy show delves into the realm of robotics by featuring two humanoid robots — designed to resemble Honda’s Advanced Step in Innovative Mobility (aka ASIMO). Acting as food servers, the duo (played by guest host Emily Blunt and actor Mikey Day) repeatedly malfunction during a presentation at the ‘Honda Robotics Lounge.’
ASIMO was designed by Honda in the hopes that it could be a personal assistant, helping people with limited mobility. The robot can walk up stairs, dance, and even kick a football. Unfortunately, its comedic counterparts didn’t come with the same programming.
The appetizer-toting smart bots attempt to entice guests into noshing on quesadillas and mac and cheese balls. But before they can deliver the goods, they have issues.
“Would-you-like-a-tasty-gooey-quesadilla,” Blunt said robotically, as she repeatedly slammed into the wall of the convention center, while Day’s robot struggled to take its first steps.
Resident robot wrangler Karen, (played by Leslie Jones) comes to the rescue. Karen explains that the robots go haywire around cellular signals and instructs the attendees that they should be using the free wifi provided by Honda.
“I don’t know if it’s been said or not, but if anyone’s cell phone is not on wifi, it’s going to mess with these things,” she says as she points to the robots.
It doesn’t take long before Day’s robot glitches again, this time falling over while Blunt’s robot walks into walls and invades people’s personal space. As Jones tries again to keep the pair in line, her phone rings, revealing her to be the problem.
If this is the future of robotics, we have a long way to go.