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Robots are awesome, right up until the nigh-inevitable robot revolution wherein they destroy and/or enslave all of humanity forcing a scrappy group of rebels to rise up in defiance for all mankind. But until then? Totally awesome.

So awesome, in fact, that the University of Pennsylvania has an entire department dedicated to the idea of making increasingly more awesome robots. It’s called the GRASP Lab, or General Robotics Automation, Sensing, And Perception Laboratory, and Fast Company drops by to interview the teachers and students, and avoid asking the obvious questions like “Why are you enabling the end of the world as we know it? and “But seriously, how fucking sweet is your life until then?”

Unfortunately their embed code seems to be a little off so until we get that sorted out, I highly recommend you check it out on their site. If/when we get that fixed, we’ll update the post to embed the video.

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Both brilliant and appropriately creepy, Robot readable world by Timo Arnall attempts to show us how computers “see” the world, gathering “meaning from our streets, cities, media and from us.”

So now that we know how the machines see us, how long will it be untii we start deploying camouflage in order to hide from the machines?

Robot readable world, created by Timo Arnall.

Music: “Cold Summer Landscape” by Blear Moon.

To introduce this video, a quick note about my HSA workflow: Over the course of the week, if I notice a video with potential, I’ll add it to my VHX queue, and then when it’s time to write up a pick (usually the night before my day to post), I’ll go through what’s in said queue and make my choice. Using VHX as an Instapaper-esque solution to video consumption works great for me; the one downside is that I will sometimes forget where I found something — or why I even wanted to save it in the first place.

Today’s video is an example of that, because holy crap, where the hell did The Gift come from? Where did I find it? Why was it made? Well, I sort of have an answer to that last one — according to the Vimeo description, this short was directed by Carl E. Rinsch and “Belongs to the ‘pararell Lines’ Phillips Cinema campaning” [sic] — but ultimately, I don’t really care; it’s a beautifully-made sci-fi short and you should watch it. Especially if you like robots, and of course you like robots. Robots are cool.

Let’s face it – the robots are here, and they’re ready to take over.

Sure – the big fear is that they’re going to be hostile.  That they’ll destroy mankind in a much-anticipated machine war, and they’ll win with their superior strength and firepower.  And that’s probably true.

But perhaps not all robots will fight us to the death.  Maybe some, like this Interactive Robot Painting Machine, will actually come in peace.  Hippy robots, man.

Or perhaps this is just the cleverly disguised first salvo in the War of the Machines.  If so – well played, robots.  Well played.

(hat tip to VHX.tv)

Thanks a lot to Liz, Felicia, Barrett and Kenyatta for having me this month!