Tesla's car-charging robot snake can plug itself in, no humans necessary
Tesla terrifies everybody with a snake-like robot that can automatically plug itself into cars
As if robots that can automatically plug themselves into other machines aren't scary enough, Tesla has created one such bot in the shape of a giant, undulating snake.
This is a functional charger prototype for the Model S by Tesla Motors — an automated device that can find an electric car's charging port, plug itself in, and juice the vehicle up without any sort of human assistance:
Charger prototype finding its way to Model S. <a href="https://t.co/L9E4MR642G">https://t.co/L9E4MR642G</a>—@TeslaMotors
Tesla unveiled its long-rumoured "giant metal snake" contraption in a 36-second video on both YouTube and Twitter Thursday, less than one year after CEO Elon Musk raised eyebrows by alluding to it on Twitter.
"Btw, we are actually working on a charger that automatically moves out from the wall & connects like a solid metal snake," he tweeted in December of 2014. "For realz."
As far-fetched as this sounded, it was hard for the web to put anything past Musk, the prolific inventor and business magnate behind SpaceX, SolarCity and PayPal.
The latter two questions have yet to be answered, but tech-watchers were excited to finally see the prototype in action when Tesla dropped its video this week.
Musk's robot snake had been viewed more than 1.5 million times on YouTube alone after just one day of being live, and Twitter continues to reel with emotion over its existence.
TESLA. DEAR GOD. HOW. OMG.—@madnapmusic
Am I the only one who had nightmares about the Tesla snake robot charger last night?—@samjaffe
<a href="https://twitter.com/TeslaMotors">@TeslaMotors</a> nope nope nope cool nope nope nope nope nope—@tylergold
As the tweets above (or a scan of any major social network right now) reveal, a lot of people feel creeped out by the charger's appearance.
The video has inspired thousands of comments about the "robot uprising," as almost any robot-related news tends to do, but many are also remarking upon the, um, "sensual" way it moves.
We are unable to republish most of the highest-rated comments on Tesla's YouTube video due to their graphic nature, but suffice to say they're... creative.
Robots could one day procreate the same way <a href="https://twitter.com/TeslaMotors">@TeslaMotors</a> charges its vehicles <a href="http://t.co/rsnQsZgQI4">http://t.co/rsnQsZgQI4</a> <a href="http://t.co/o2YIjxGOYz">pic.twitter.com/o2YIjxGOYz</a>—@orvn
Fans of automotive technology are taking a more serious approach to discussing the charger, of course.
Functionally speaking, the prototype is promising — at least among electric car owners who like the thought of charging their vehicles without lifting a finger.
"If you had one at home, you could just park in your garage, let your intelligent charger hook up with your car and go right on about your day," wrote Amanda Kooser for CNET of the device. "You have a technologically advanced car, so you might as well have a high-tech bendable charger doohickey to go with it."
Mashable's Chris Perkins wrote similarly that "if this mecha-cobra charger eventually destroys us all, we'll have Musk to blame. Otherwise, not having to plug in your car seems nice."
Musk has yet to respond to allegations by YouTube commenters that he's building a killer robot army, but he did nod to how creepy some people find the charger on Twitter Thursday afternoon:
Tesla Snakebot autocharger prototype. Does seem kinda wrong :) <a href="https://t.co/vXpCrKNdlV">https://t.co/vXpCrKNdlV</a>—@elonmusk
Tesla has yet to unveil when we'll be seeing the charger in garages for realz.