Now TV Put a Creepy Robot in a Pub, Showing Just How Near and Far Westworld-Style Synths Really Are

By Tom Pritchard on at

Ever since Westworld's first season concluded, people have been eagerly anticipating the second installment. There isn't long to wait, and in the run up to the season premiere the marketing campaign is in full swing. When producers aren't busy trolling fans with fake spoiler videos, Now TV is creeping people out by putting a 'realistic' robot called Fred inside a London pub.

We're talking as realistic as we can probably make right now, putting fake skin and hair on top of a mechanical body and focussing in on the tiny details like facial hair and wrinkles. You know, those things robots don't really need. To add to the creep factor Fred also started asking people what they thought of "the impending humanoid robots invasion" and talking about how humanoid bots are so much better than humans.

It definitely doesn't help that Fred periodically pretends to be malfunctioning, doing usual glitchy things like a M... M... Max Headroom impression, and smashing a pint glass. Why does the robot even have a pint? This isn't Bender from Futurama. It can't drink or else it'd short circuit, just like Mark Zuckerberg.

Fred was built by robotics company Engineered Arts, with a team of five engineers working on it over the course of three months. What's more Fred was based on a real person, though he's actually called Ted. Now TV released a behind the scenes video with the two meeting, and the likeness is actually quite remarkable. Obviously you can tell which one is which, so we're quite a way off a Westworld-style future where we can print machines that are totally indistinguishable.

The first episode of Westworld debuts in the UK on Sky Atlantic on 23rd April at 2am, and starts streaming on Now TV on the same day.


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