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Bill Gates' Robot will Watch Your Kids

Posted 3 Mar 2005 at 17:35 UTC by steve Share This

The Swirling Brain and a few other readers sent in the weird robot news of the week from ABC News. It seems Bill Gates may be developing an army of evil robot teddy bears to watch over (and eventually raise?) your kids. If that isn't scary enough, the robot bear will monitor the child, providing video and audio online over a WiFi link. Microsoft's extensive security know-how will give your robot the same wonderful protection as your typical Windows OS, so you don't have to worry about the wrong people watching your child. There's also Slashdot coverage, which poses the question, "when it BSODs, will it take the kid with it?". Lest you think this is a joke, an MSNBC article includes a photo of the furry robot and mentions that its head will follow the childs movements around the room. The robot was revealed at Microsoft's Research Techfest 2005, a secretive internal event designed as a "corporate moral booster" for Microsoft's product research teams.

I had to include this - from a Slashdot Post:

Gate's Laws of Robotics

1) A robot may not use a non-Microsoft product or through inaction, allow a human being to use a non-Microsoft product.

2) A robot must obey orders given it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.

3) A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.


This could be good, posted 4 Mar 2005 at 13:40 UTC by c6jones720 » (Master)

Was that a hint of sarcasm about the security? The service packs dont stop a lot of rubbish coming through. I think it has good potential although personally I am not too sure about robots that are overly anthropomorphic. Im not really a lover of Microsoft, but If this project does get off the ground then there will surely be some standardisation and heightened interest in the development of domestic robotics.

MS Final Frontier & Lawsuits a comin!, posted 4 Mar 2005 at 15:29 UTC by The Swirling Brain » (Master)

Perhaps Robots will be microsoft's final frontier. [star trek music in the background] The thought of having a MS Robot OS on a vacuum cleaner robot doesn't make me worry too much. The thing that makes me worry is in our connected world with MS security holes, I could imagine a criminal hacking/cracking into your robot and it opening your front door to the theives. The thought of the same scenario where a robot to watch your kids and which could easily be hacked and viewed by sickos just makes me shudder!

It seems a while back that if you bought a computer without Windows in it that they would scrutinize you very closely and even filed some unmerited lawsuits even. I wonder if like the Non-Windows-computer scenario if in the future you buy a robot without windows if they'll be filing lawsuits against the rogue non-windows robot enthusiast.

"WINER" could be the new Windows Embedded Robot OS. Makes you WinCE doesn't it?

You're just 2 good 2 b true can't take my eyes off, posted 4 Mar 2005 at 15:41 UTC by The Swirling Brain » (Master)

I agree. If MS does get into robotics, it will give it a big boost. At the same time, it will be a very sad tradgedy.

Embrace and extend, posted 4 Mar 2005 at 17:12 UTC by steve » (Master)

We did an article back in December indicating that MS may be planning to use their "embrace and extend" strategy to block the use of open standards and lock robotics into some kind of proprietary MS-only platform. But on the upside, it looks like their efforts are failing so far.

See more of the latest robot news!

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