Thursday 25 August 2016 we promoted the Brabant Robot Challenge during the TOP week; the Tilburg introduction weeks. The TOP market has been on Thursday since time immemorial. Various student associations, sports clubs and other organizations compete for the attention of first-year students there. The freshmen themselves often experience this as a welcome moment of rest between the beer cantus on Wednesday afternoon and the pub crawl on Thursday evening.
The super nice people from Blue Jay Eindhoven, a student company that works on autonomous drones, were kind enough to lend us one of our drones. In addition, we had, as a happy coincidence, the position of the Efteling as neighbors. So in addition to our drone, there was also a swinging robot gnome to get into the atmosphere.
In order to make the Brabant Robot Challenge known to this hardened audience, we tackled the crowd with a quiz. We had created forms, both in Dutch and English, with the question "Why can't I be replaced by a robot !:" (or the same in English then, for the keen readers) behind that students could fill in everything. We were so impressed with the answers that we are happy to share them here. The reactions we received were sometimes very sharp, sometimes very funny, sometimes very sweet and at times quite dirty.
“I’m too awesome to be replaced”
Ricardo's answer was that it didn't lie. Laura also had a hard time seeing a robotic society, although it had very specific reasons:
"A robot can never quite understand how my hair should be cut / dyed."
Questions about autonomy also turned up, Inge said:
"Robots aren't smart and can't do things on their own."
Jan goes further by pointing out the lack of creative capacity in robots:
“Because they cannot develop anything new. They just do what they were programmed to do. And never step out of the box. "
Sannerien razor-sharply expresses the question what it means to be aware and casually adds a discussion about imitation of it:
“Robots cannot show real emotion and feeling. For example, if they drink coffee they can say they like it, but they don't have the real experience of the coffee. "
As smart as Sannerien's answer is, Patrick's answer is rude. Something we were already warned about a bit by his group mates by the way. But forward:
“A robot does not puke in its sleep (I do). He can, of course, clean it up, so it can be partially replaced. "
Now drinking beer is a theme anyway, but we could have seen that coming on the TOP week. Kevin also thinks he is irreplaceable, because:
"You can't drink a beer with a robot."
The cuddibility of robots also appears to be a factor. Linda gives the reason:
"Because I am huggable."
Milan, however, came up with perhaps the most unsurpassed answer to the question "why I cannot be replaced by a robot":
"Then mom will miss me."
The question why you cannot be replaced by a robot may seem simple, but it is not always that simple to answer. The new Tilburg students often cleverly solved this problem by using humor. We are also curious why you - the reader - cannot be replaced by a robot. Respond to facebook or tweet to us using #BRC.
During the kick-off September 19, we would like to give an even broader anthology of why we do not consider ourselves to be replaced by a robot. Everything is allowed.