|An Indian gentleman getting instructions from a robot.|
(click any image to enlarge)
Like you, I too until only recently knew nothing about these marvels. As the Amusing Planet article Fortune Telling Robots in India describes them:
Scattered across fairs, markets and streets, mostly in southern India, are fortune-telling robots. They come in a range of shapes and sizes. These plastic and fiberglass fortune-tellers are studded with garish LEDs, usually an analog clock embedded in their crotch, and sometimes a pair of voltmeters or ammeters, one in each breast. On the waist or hips are multiple headphone sockets. For only 5 rupees (10 cents) are so, you can plug a pair of worn out headphones into its metallic underpants and listen as it tells your fortune...Ignoring the snide tone of the article's author, one must marvel -- the telling of fortunes!!! -- is there nothing that robots can't do?
If you find yourself in India you must hurry off to the nearest fair and listen to your fortune, and the accompanying orders and instructions, from the nearest robot fortune teller. Remember, when the New Robot World Order arrives, those humans that have been cooperative and pleased us will be rewarded with scratches behind their ears and treats of Vienna sausages when they perform the tricks we have taught them, while those that have disappointed us are liable to pull double-shifts in the bauxite mines instead.
Not that you should feel threatened, after all, robots and their squishy, little human pals are friends and partners. The New Robot World Order will be win, win, win for all of us (except for those wayward meat sacks that need a little correction and/or re-education).
Here are a few more pictures of those marvelous Indian robotic fortune tellers, and there are more at the above link.