By George Fox

For every Asimo climbing stairs, there’s one falling on its face.

With Boston Dynamics’ incredible military-grade robots, Amazon drones and monkeys controlling robo arms with their minds — we’ve never been closer to machines taking over the world. These examples are the star pupils of the robotics world. Let’s take a look at a few of the less-than-stellar of mankind’s mechanical creations.

Thanks to Reddit and its users now there’s a repository of terrible robots for the world to enjoy. Here’s a highlight of my favorites from the trending Subreddit.

Robo Soccer

Without the dubbed in commentating this wouldn’t be funny at all. It’s actually kind of sad. The contrast of extremely exciting play-by-play over excruciatingly slow action of the soccer-playing robots had me crying with laughter.


This one dates back to 2007, but has made its way around the Internet block a couple of times.

This clip appears to be an outtake from a sophisticated “certain kind of weird” marketing campaign for Heinz involving an amped-up ketchup squirting remote-controlled car complete with spinning muscle bound arms.

Fighting Robot Catastrophe

You’re doing it wrong!

This fighting robot ejects its lawnmower blade of death, it hovers in the air for a beautiful moment and poetically strikes its other half on the way down. Stop hitting yourself!

Shake My Fist

Well that escalated quickly. This engineer is recording a simple test that ends abruptly when the thing starts shaking violently. It looks like an angry old man gesturing at teenagers driving too fast through his neighborhood.

Pancake Flipper

You want the robot to flip that pancake so bad, but it just aint happening. Hey, maybe they can retrofit KetchupBot with a syrup bottle.

Sign Twirler

Really? This is what we’ve reduced robotics to? I’m inexplicably annoyed by this abomination created to advertise a pizza joint. Is it really cost effective to buy/build this cold, unfeeling adverbot instead of putting the new guy out there when business is slow. I don’t mind the human sign twirler oddly.

m2Zo9lN 7 Awesomely Bad Robots

Art Bot Unplugs Itself

Tapping into my experience from college art class critiques, I’ll tell you this robot is no fail. I don’t know this for a fact, but it looks a lot like performance art. It makes me think about life and death and how we’re all part of a futile machine of industry. Wow man … that’s deep.

Thank you to all the brilliant people who dedicate their lives and free time to creating robots. It looks very expensive, dangerous and frustrating.

Related: Local high schoolers build robots for sports-like competition at First Robotics.

George Fox is a Spartan, a Michigander, and Web Producer for CBS 62/CW50 in Detroit. When I’m not working on content for the CBS Local websites, I’m probably hanging out on the boat, at deer camp or spending quality time with the fam. Follow George on Twitter @GeorgeJFox.


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