Santa’s Robotic Elf Sings A Merry Tune

This holiday season it’s important to remember the true meaning of Christmas: the slow encroachment of robots upon human existence and the expectation of the enslavement of Homo sapiens by 2050. To that end we present a pair of jolly robotic hands that pick up candy and place it into a stocking – a feat that was all but impossible a few years ago. These dextrous hands come from the Neuroinformatics Group at Bielefeld University where the Center of Excellence Cognitive Interaction Technology (CITEC) decided to spread a little robotic Christmas cheer.

The demo shows off the hands grabbing a deformable object – a stocking – and some tiny objects – candy – and then placing candy after candy into the hollow. The resulting video, often sped up, is accompanied by a robotic voice singing the praises of opposable robotic thumbs. It warms the heart to see robots making such strides as we settle down for a long Winter’s nap.