Technology on parade:You bring the sheep, I’ll make the coffee

By Gus Bode

“Not Just Another Priddy Face”

A friend of mine went off to St. Louis University last year to study something called Nano-robotics. I asked him about it, and he told me someday the world will have tiny little robots smaller than organisms that doctors will be able to inject into our bodies to repair medical problems.

At first I said, “Hey, that’s really super!” It was kind of fun to think about walking around with Auto Bots in my tummy curing heartburn before it starts. But what happens if the things malfunction? I get this picture in my head of those Doozers from Fraggle Rock running around inside of me, building miniscule cities and trains around my esophagus. Not that it wouldn’t be exciting to have the only digestive track in the world with a complete monorail system and Bloomingdale’s department store running through my spleen, but at the same time, maybe it’s a bit excessive.


But at the very least, the whole thing’s gotten me thinking. We can clone a sheep. We can program specific personality traits into that sheep. We can make the sheep drool when we ring a bell. And when we get done, we can even Fed Ex that sheep to Abu Daubi overnight. Overnight, mind you!

Technology is a beautiful, wonderful thing. I can set a timer in my kitchen before bed and when I wake in the morning, I have hot Foldger’s waiting for me. I sat at the table yesterday, enjoying my fresh, Jetsonian latte and wondering how long it would take to ground-mail a veal to my sister in St. Louis, when my mind began to wander. “Wouldn’t it be great,” I thought, “if these little robots could help with other things, too?” They could come out with a whole line of microscopic Time-Saver robots to take care of those mundane little jobs in life, like brushing your teeth. Pop a couple in your mouth before work and let them polish and shine those bicuspids for you.

This leaves your hands free for more pertinent tasks, like pushing coffee timer buttons and figuring out what kind of shipping tape adheres best to wool.

Come to think of it, robotics has come a long way in my short lifespan. I think back to an article I read in a magazine fifteen years ago. I remember what a big deal it was that Bigfoot from “Harry and the Hendersons” was really a droid. I have to wonder how long it will be before most actors are replaced by robots.

Sure, I suspect there are a few already. (I’m looking in your direction, Christopher Walken, if that’s even your real name.) I wonder how long until the system is totally reversed. Actors like Kenny Baker (R2D2) made their living dressing up in costumes to play robots, and in the end, it’s going to be machines forcing them into early retirement.

Not that the idea is entirely unpleasant, though. Matching twin Olsen-Bots would probably deliver lines with more camera presence than their monkey-faced, carbon-based human counterparts. I’m sorry. That seems so mean, and I know they’re still just kids. I’m sure they have still have a good six months yet before they graduate puberty and start making porn films that will only be available at Wal-Mart, packaged in those oversized, clamshell video cassette cases.

So I guess this machine age has its advantages, after all. Sure we’re all a little concerned, in our world of Michael Crichton novels and Terminator movies, about the future of our human existence, but look on the bright side. By the time we’re really in deep, we won’t mind a robot army taking over. We’ll need some to help keep all these sheep in line.


Not Just Another Priddy Face appears on Wednesdays. Grace is a senior in architecture. Her views do not necessarily reflect those of the Daily Egyptian.