Let’s be clear, right up top: We here at The A.V. Club are not Luddites. In the past, we’ve gone so far as to openly come out as cautiously pro-computer; heck, several of us even allow one into our homes. Sure, we’ve occasionally expressed our comedic discomfort at the inevitable rise of the machines, and the crushing of humanity beneath the wheels of self-driving cars filled with rogue Furbies and that one robot the man keeps pushing over—DON’T YOU SEE THAT ONE DAY IT’LL GET UP AND PUSH YOU BACK?!—but it’s all in good fun. We’re definitely not scared of machines.
That being said, this can go ahead and fuck right off:
Fuck-ee in question is a new research project called MobiLimb, which answers a question no one was asking, except while shivering, fear-soaked, in the aftermath of their most Terminator-spawned nightmares: “What if mobile devices had a robotic limb?” And while you might think lead researcher Marc Teyssier opens his video with the creepiest thing his new creation can do—that’s the bit where it drags itself along a surface like Thing from The Addams Family—that’s only because you haven’t seen it lovingly stroke a user’s wrist yet, or cloak itself in human skin. Even one of its cutest applications, slapping some glowing eyes on in order to “simulate personality and emotions” seems blatantly superfluous, especially since we all already have Instagram accounts for that.
If we’re being clear-headed for a moment here, it’s obvious there are all sorts of applications that this project—which is still clearly only in the research stages—could have that actually improve people’s lives. There are the clear benefits to accessibility, for instance, or the way it could help engage the senses during long-distance communication. Indeed, MobiLimb could be a big step forward in the peaceful integration between humanity and our tools.
But on the other hand, let’s take a minute to imagine the above GIF steadily crawling its way up your torso as you sleep and you know what, no, actually: Fuck this.