We're not sure how we missed this one but we figure later is better than never. Late last yeah GE unveiled their latest commercial that pays tribute to some of the most famous robots, including Data. We saw this during the Golden Globes last week and just had to share. See how many you recognize.
Holiday commercials get earlier every year. Just last week we saw Elmo popping up on TV ads. This year they are re-introducing "Let's Rock! Elmo", the version that sings six different songs and comes with drums, tambourine and microphone. We suppose that toddlers continue to fall for the red Muppet, unlike parents who are probably sick of hearing him giggle endlessly.
Popcorn Indiana mostly sells flavored popcorn and seems to have been fairly successful at this endeavor. Now they have teamed with an engineer simply named Ted who supposedly invented the Popinator. This automatic marvel of discovery will apparently shoot a piece to your mouth when you say the word "pop" from up to 15 feet away. We are not sure if this is actually real, remotely controlled or a clever PR tool. It certainly took a lot of practice to get the catching down. Still, we figured any video that gets over a million hits in less than a week deserves mention.
Velveeta's latest hero for their Shells & Cheese commercial is "that guy at the mall that sells the remote-control helicopter" They dig the dude so much that they set up an interactive site. We don't know if we share his taste in cheese food products, but we do admire his toys. Get yours!
Ally Bank has been trying to use humor to bring in a few more bucks. Its last campaign featured a blender for a teller and the latest has a bot for its star. We admit it is a bit cheesy, but we had to share nonetheless.
We have seen robotic gardeners before but this takes it to the point of almost complete automation in a 200,000 sq. ft. building in San Marcos, CA. Katsumi Shigeta, president and CEO of Hokto-Kinoko Co., purchased Kinoko, a mushroom exporting company that went out of business. Four kinds of shrooms are produced with the aid of robot arms and a climate controlled environment. There are over 120 humans to assist in minor roles.
After maturation, the organic crop is sold locally since exporting would mean spraying them with pesticides. Kudos to Shigeta for choosing a local distribution process instead. If you are not quite sure what to do with a king trumpet or brown beech mushroom, Hokto-Kinoko gladly provides recipes. And you have to dig the commercial, even if it's not in English.
When Idaho decided it was time to attract tourists to Sun Valley, they created a robot that can skip stones. Skippy may only have one function but we expect that he was inundated with those who wanted to play with him. Unfortunately, he is no longer active. Still, he reminds us of those Mayberry antics of Andy and Opie.
Check out this 1963 video from Muppeteer Jim Henson. He created it for Bell as a promotional tool to show the relationship of robots and humans (aka "Man and the Machine".) Recently discovered in AT&T's archives, Computer H14 may think he can do it all, but we know better.
Panasonic certainly knows how to take advantage of its Evolta robotic mascot. After attracting plenty of attention at the Iron Man Triathlon last September, they have now turned the little guy into a battery charger. We figured that sooner or later he would become a living, breathing boy robot. So far he is only available at Amazon Japan for 3,910 JPY (~$50.00.)
While we barely tolerate the overly enthusiastic star of Progressive Insurance's commercials, it seems that a bobblehead in one of them wasn't enough. So they came up with Flobot, a bot that the original Flo (portrayed by the comedic Stephanie Courtney) seems to find objectionable. Somehow we think a gecko makes a much better foil.
If oversaturation can make for a successful product, then mission accomplished for the Fijit, a soft creature that has voice recognition and can sing and dance. You cannot look in any catalogue or toy commercial without noticing Willa or one of the other little buggers that come in various colors and have 100 built-in phrases and jokes.
Toys 'R Us figured the Fijit prominently on this year's catalogue (upper right corner, front page.) We guess that Mattel figured that if the original was hot, then Friends Newbies could extend their bankability. Tika is one of those friends and can sing. Put two together and you get a duet.
"For Those Who Do" is a recent commercial from Lenovo that not only claims they are "for the inspired thinkers who roll up their sleeves and make things happen," but gives examples of how it does just that. Think of this as your mini quiz of the day and see how many robotic devices you recognize.
Every day, more commercials crop up that use robots for costars. As CGI becomes more technically advanced all the time, we can see why that trend is catching on. What better villain to destroy Duane than an evil giant robot in this State Farm spot "State of Chaos?"