Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Illustration for article titled Inventors somehow de-fang Arnold Schwarzenegger with totally non-threatening lookalike robot
Screenshot: Sputnik Italia (YouTube)

The essence of Arnold Schwarzenegger can never be captured by a machine. No lines of code could summarize the mentality that informs Schwarzenegger’s outlook on the world. Not even the most advanced artificial intelligence could recreate the spirit of a man who is as comfortable playing iconic action heroes as he is performing inspirational raps and uploading videos where he chases a miniature pony around his yard on a bicycle.

Still, Russian robotics company Promobot has tried its best to fulfill the global dream of an Arnold in every home with a robot Schwarzenegger bust that talks, grimaces, and stares blankly on command.

As its website shows, Promobot usually works on more practical robots designed to function as glorified personal assistants. But, most recently, they’ve been showing off the way cooler invention of one that looks like Schwarzenegger, wears his black Terminator jacket, and tries in vain to approximate the imposing presence of a time-traveling T-series murder machine.


In one video, Arnoldbot is shown in his laboratory home, waxy face moving slightly as if the real Schwarzenegger was stuck in a block of ice up to his shoulders and is slowly freezing to death, his collapsing brain clinging to lines like, “Hasta la vista, baby” as he fades. In another, we see the robot on display at this year’s CES. It’s asked questions, swivels its head around, blinks its lifeless eyes like something’s stuck in them, and speaks in a decidedly non-Arnold voice. At one point, after making a few ineffectual snarling faces, the Arnoldbot’s peepers spin wildly in its head and it begins philosophizing on the value of the internet and how great it is that it can be put to work without needing to be paid a salary.

While the technology is impressive in the way that all talking robots are impressive, Arnoldbot lacks the unbridled energy that makes real-world Schwarzenegger such a captivating presence in his day-to-day life or in roles where he portrays deadly soldiers, deadly cops, deadly spies, deadly suburban dads, and, of course, deadly robots.

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[via Boing Boing]

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Contributor, The A.V. Club. Reid's a writer and editor who has appeared at GQ, Playboy, and Paste. He also co-created and writes for videogame sites Bullet Points Monthly and Digital Love Child.

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