It used to be so easy to spot a robot.
Robots were boxy and metallic and had glowing eyes. They spoke in tinny voices and said stuff like “access denied” and “bleep.”
Nowadays, robots are desperately trying to blend in with our natural environment. They’re mimicking birds and fish and mammals. They’re clearly plotting something.
So far, they haven’t quite mastered the art of disguise. Most still make an unnatural whirring sound, or have conspicuous wires jutting out of them, exposing them as imposters.
But they’re making progress. Here are seven creepy robots trying really hard to convince you they’re animals. Don’t be fooled.
7. Robot hummingbird
Scientists in Japan, who have clearly learned nothing from the multiple Godzilla tragedies, have continued to recklessly tinker with the natural order by creating a robotic hummingbird. It can fly for six minutes on a single charge, to a height of 10 meters. It wants to drink the sweet nectar coursing through your veins.
6. Man’s best fiend
The LittleDog Robot does not want a belly rub. It has no interest in chasing squirrels, and it certainly doesn’t want to fetch your slippers. Other robot dogs invented in the past have been equipped with big, cute eyes and wagging tails. Those are harmless. But this one — all-black, faceless and scarily dextrous — is clearly coming to get you, and no obstacle can stop it. It also looks super-creepy on stairs.
5. Robot Cockroach is cybergross
It’s said that only cockroaches would survive a nuclear holocaust. But who will save the cockroaches from their robot adversaries? These disgusting scuttlers can move like real roaches, but don’t need to eat your crumbs to survive. Their only natural enemies: robot contestants on Fear Factor.
4. Robot snake constricts everything
Truly science has run amok. Just this week, Carnegie Mellon University unveiled its new snake robot, which can grip onto any surface its hurled at. Your neck, for instance. Surely the scientists will claim that it has some useful application, but that the inventor of the Slinky probably said the same thing.
Come on, Japan. You’ve had your fun. That’s enough. Watch in terror as this robot spider stuns, immobilizes and devours a defenseless puppy. Sorta.
2. Amphibious robot lizard? Really?!
Most robots don’t like to get wet, just like space aliens (see M. Night Shyamalan’s Signs). Some robots can swim, but are pathetic on land. This robot is equally comfortable on terra firma or swimming up behind you while you float on an air mattress at the lake.
1. Robot cheetah will catch you
Antelope conservationists from the future are going to send a terminator back in time to destroy this thing before it gets loose. Bet on it.