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About the invasion of smart objects and the temptation to destroy robots

In these days of reading and writing until very late about smart objects, augmented tangibles, robots embedded in daily life and other human made creatures, I am feeling that some kind of hostility against electric appliances and robots, could be waking up from my inside.

Nass and Reeves [5] demonstrated that humans tend to treat computer as social actors and therefore like other human beings. During these time I have read about the “Impatient toaster” [2], designed to motivate its owners to eat more often and in regular intervals. After not using it for a while, it signalizes hunger through nervous and vibrating movements. I also found that new fridges provide different kind of facilities from counting the number of calories you take by reading the barcode of the consumed products, until warning system alerting the owner when any product is going out of date.  On more of them is the “PillowTalk” [3], an augmented pillow that gives feedback on the correct position to sleep with a serious game. “The thrifty faucet” [4] is a pervasive home appliance that takes a different position depending on the water consumption during the last period of time, so whenever you use more water, it adopts a curled position and it is more difficult to get water from it.
When I was a child, I learned in the “Inventing The Future Show” from The Muppets that human ancestors already had a temptation to destroy robots (See 
I recently read an article about the experiment from Julia Ringler & Holger Reckter [1] proving that “Humans are tempted to destroy robots”. They even could claim that people who had alleviated this appetite for destruction with their DESU (DEstruction and SUicide) robot, declared that they felt some kind of satisfaction after watching the effects of an appliance that cannot be repaired.
Nowadays, we are all waiting for the “Internet of Things” and the smart objects invasion that will bring us many facilities as the “Impatient toaster”, “The thrifty faucet” and “The pillow talk”.  Now, we can assure that smart objects will bring us satisfaction, not sure when we make use of them but we will always have the option to fulfill one’s wishes destroying them.
1. Ringler, J. (2012). DESU 100 – About the Temptation to Destroy a Robot. TEI, 151-152. Retrieved from
2. Burneleit, E., & Hemmert, F. (2009). Living interfaces: the impatient toaster. Proceedings of the 3rd. TEI.  Retrieved from
3. Schiphorst, T., Nack, F., & KauwATjoe, M. PillowTalk: Can we afford intimacy?. TEI,
4. Togler, J., & Hemmert, F. Living Interfaces  : The Thrifty Faucet. Communications of the
ACM, 43-44. (2009)
5. B. Reeves and C. Nass. The media equation: how people treat computers, television, and new media like real people and places. Cambridge University Press, New York, NY, USA, 1996.
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