Archive for November 30th, 2008



A friendly blue robot.

A friendly blue robot.

Going to the San Francisco Autoshow the Saturday after Thanksgiving is one of the few non-holiday family traditions that we stick too. My Mom, Aunts and a Cousin all go shopping in the city on Black Friday and the following Saturday, while my Dad, my Brother, his girlfriend and myself all go to the autoshow.

It is a fun thing to do, especially now that I am starting to look at buying a car for graduate school. I know that I will not be getting a new 2009 or 2010 model car, it just helps to look at what I do like in a car so I can narrow down what type of used car I want. Besides cheap that is.

At the show my brother observed that all of the cars tires were rotated so that the emblems were right side up. I wonder whose job that is.

There were a lot of cars and by the end of the evening they all started to blend together into one homogenous car. There was a bit more hybrid and fuel cell cars at the show this year then previous year (though I did miss last year). Surprisingly there was no Tesla Roadster at the show, usually they have a boot right at the entrance. This year it was taken up by small smart cars. 

The best part was the robot at one of the car makers sections named Henry. He did a really good job at interacting with the audience, remembering names, asking relavant questions, picking out family members and recognizing when his picture was about to be taken. He was on the left side of the uncanny valley which helped. His legs though were bolted into the floor so he could only move above the waist, if he could walk freely around it would be a lot better.

He would not pass the turing test though since some of his questions repeated with the same inflection and pace. Then again he would also fail on the fact that he is in now doubt a blue robot.

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