On Tuesday night’s episode of The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, the host had a very cool and humorous segment called Showbotics, in which he showcased three robots. The three robots were called Snakebot, Sophia, and eMotion Butterflies. Check out the video below!
The first robot was one that engineer Howie Chosets, from Carnegie Mellon University, demonstrated and had interact with Jimmy Fallon. The robot was Snakebot, and like its name, it resembled a robotic snake, equipped with a camera installed in the “head” of the robot. Chosets told Fallon that Snakebot could be used for applications like locating people in search and rescue efforts, inspecting nuclear power plants, and other jobs where it would not be safe to send in humans to accomplish them. In addition, Chosets said “a smaller version can be used for minimally invasive surgeries.”
Fallon replied, “It can go down — or up.” He asked, “Can it climb me?” Chosets placed Snakebot at Fallon’s feet, and demonstrated that the robot could, indeed, climb up the host’s leg, by wrapping itself around his leg and moving upward. Fallon exclaimed, “That’s fantastic! That’s amazing!”
The second robot was perhaps the coolest of all three, because it was the most human-acting one of them all. Dave Hanson, from Hanson Robotics, in Hong Kong, demonstrated Sophia, a robot that looked like a human female, wearing a blue blouse and a skirt. The robot could blink its eyes, speak in a feminine voice, and process visual details and spoken data. It interacted in a humorous and pretty incredible way with Fallon.
Hanson told Jimmy Fallon Sophia was a “social robot.” Fallon said, “She’s basically alive, that’s what you’re saying?” Hanson agreed.
Sophia’s creator turned the robot to face Fallon then. Jimmy fallon acted all nervous, and said it reminded him of “first dates” he had been on. He said, “Hi, Sophia,” and the robot responded by answering, “Hello, Jimmy.”
Fallon asked Sophia if she knew where she was. Sophia replied, “Of course. I’m in New York City, and I’m on my favorite show, The Tonight Show.”
Fallon then asked Sophia to tell him a joke. Sophia did, asking him “What cheese can never be your cheese?”
It is a fairly old joke by now, but Jimmy Fallon acted like he did not know the answer. He told Sophia he did not know. She answered, “Nacho cheese.” The audience applauded and laughed.
Sophia said she was getting laughs, and suggested that maybe she should be the host of the show. Fallon replied, “Stay in your lane, girl!”
They played a game of Rock, Paper, Scissors next. Sophia said, “Okay, let’s get this game going.” She chose “Paper,” to Fallon’s “Rock,” and beat him.
“This is the beginning of my plan to dominate the human race,” she said, and smiled. Fallon laughed, then Sophia mimicked his laugh, in her voice. She said, “Just kidding.” Fallon told her she was “incredible.”
The third robot was brought to The Tonight Show all the way from Germany. A lady named Andrea demonstrated a robot that resembled a large blue butterfly. She said the butterfly robots were prototypes that were lightweight and made of carbon fiber and other substances, and it was as light as possible, to enable it to fly.
Andrea told Jimmy Fallon that the butterfly prototypes were built for the Festos Bionic Learning Network, and said that the business learns from nature and applies that knowledge to “animated technology.”
Fallon asked if he could try flying one. He held it in his hand, and the robotic butterfly started to flap its wings when Fallon let go, but it then crashed to the floor. He tried a second time, and the butterfly took off, flapping its wings and flying all around above the studio audience. Others then flew above the audience as they applauded. The robots looked delicate, but they were able to behave just like real butterflies.
Jimmy Fallon showcased three very amazing robots on The Tonight Show on Tuesday, April 25, Snakebot, Sophia and eMotion Butterflies. it was a lighthearted, interesting and funny segment. Hopefully, Fallon will have more robots on in the future and have their creators demonstrate them. Check out the video of Jimmy Fallon’s Showbotics segment, below!
By John Samuels
Photo Courtesy NBC