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If Robots Had Puppies They Would Be Like Needybot

Typically, technology is developed to make our lives easier. Not so with Needybot - the robot designed to depend on others for help with just about every situation life throws at it.

Needybot - which looks like the love child of an Ewok and a Minion - is guaranteed to add more burdens to your daily list of chores. And that's the whole point according to its creators at Lodge - the tech wing of Wieden+Kennedy, an ad agency based in Portland, Oregon - where recreational cannabis use is legal. Needless to say, he will not fetch your marijuana.

Needybot can't answer a phone, can't walk use staircases, can't reach elevators buttons, can't even pick itself up after falling over. "But he is good at one thing," the robot's introductory video says, "which is asking for help." And by doing that, its creators say, Needybot can put us in touch with our need to care for others.

The robot can also detect body heat to help it pursue potential helpers. And it has software to memorize people's faces. So if Skynet's terminators end up looking more like Chewbacca than Schwarzenegger, we'll know that human annihilation began with Needybot.

But for now, the self-insufficient robot is bumbling around the offices of Wieden+Kennedy, where its creators are eagerly studying whether it can help people develop human emotions for an inhuman object.

"If we can get a robot to connect with people and create a really profound emotional connection between them that's where we would learn the most about how technology in general interacts with humans," says the narrator of the video below. "If robots had puppies, they would look like Needybot."

Banner image: Needybot /


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