Concerned less with bettering mankind so much as revelry, the team at Willow Garage has spent what I can only assume must’ve been an enormous amount of effort creating a ‘beer-bot’: a robot that – surprise! – goes to the fridge and grabs you a beer. ‘Now, Ty,’ you say, ‘Ty, this beer-bot business is old hat!’ I hear that. Musty, crumpled stovepipe hat. Every time you turn around, everyone and their grandma is building a beer-bot. The market saturation of beer-bots is just getting ridiculous. Gee whiz, guys. Slow down.
But this isn’t grandma’s beer-bot. The PR2 (Willow couldn’t be arsed to give the thing a name that suits the light-heartedness of its function) not only grabs you a beer, and not only brings it to you, it can recognize both you and your beer, and will fetch your preferred brand, if its available. Using face- and object-recognition technology, PR2 will not release a beer from its cold, unfeeling hand until it sees the right person. I usually relegate myself to girly pool water like Sapporo, so it probably wouldn’t give me my beer anyway.
Perhaps PR2′s only shortcoming is that it takes a parsec eon* to carry out its function. Assuming you’re at a geek house party with the intent of getting utterly tanked having a delightful evening, you’re better off not waiting for PR2 – your first beer will wear off before your second enters your hand. But it’s the thought that counts, right? He’s playing the cards he was dealt, and one of them was ‘really damn slow’.
Anyway, without further drivel from me, I present to you PR2. Blayum.