So let’s focus on something else: the refreshment delivery robot that’s hanging out in the media center this week during LIV’s second-ever event at Pumpkin Ridge, outside Portland, Oregon.
We’ve seen this robot before; it made an appearance during LIV’s inaugural event a few weeks ago, though it was overshadowed by even more absurdity in the media center, with a reporter being escorted out for a bit after asking simple questions.
There is a LIV Golf robot driving around the media tent and offering up drinks as reporters work to file stories. I share this tweet for informational purposes only, not to #GrowTheGame pic.twitter.com/WBL9JXaEPq
— Kevin Van Valkenburg (@KVanValkenburg) June 7, 2022
A much better look came earlier, though, from The Fried Egg managing editor Garrett Morrison. (Full disclosure, though I can’t imagine it’s relevant in this particular scenario: I’ve written a few pieces for The Fried Egg.)
Also, it’s worth noting: did they fly this thing from the UK to Portland?
This refreshment-delivery android is freaking me out. Whenever I turn around, it's there, lurking. pic.twitter.com/T9Ut05nnVY
— Garrett Morrison (@garrett_TFE) June 30, 2022
It’s time, then, to ask and answer an important question: is this thing adorable? Or is it terrifying on an existential level?
The “answering” portion of this is much more difficult, because let’s get one thing straight: in a vacuum, a drink robot with a cat face is objectively fairly cute. It smiles! It swings by to offer refreshment on a hot summer’s day! What’s not to like?
On the other hand: the eyes. It’s the eyes, right? The end of the video, as the robot approaches, the eyes are…are they following us? Are they moving along? Are they watching you escape? Scanning you like in Minority Report and crosschecking facial recognition with social media posts that might be critical of the robot’s true owners (owners who, uh, aren’t exactly welcoming to dissenting media opinions.)
To reach a verdict, we might have to rely more on the in-person observer. Garrett’s actually dealing with the adorable/horrifying bot in person, and he’s seemingly come down on the side of creepy. Even if that’s mostly tongue-in-cheek, it’s a worthy bit of tiebreaking evidence.
Investigative report result: the robot is weird.
[image via Garrett Morrison on Twitter]