Why Using Robots at Events Can Be a Bad, Bad Thing

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The Terminator, artificial intelligence, robots at events, robots, telepresence robots, drones
The Terminator; Photo Credit: BagoGames

Popular sci-fi movies such as “The Terminator” have long warned that artificial intelligence will take over, leading to the demise of civilization.

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As technology continues to provide convenience, however, no one seems to take note. In the events industry, meeting planners are using drones to take video, while telepresence robots help off-site speakers or attendees gain access to the trade-show floor. Yes, these are clear benefits of artificial intelligence, but unless you’re a tech wiz, robots can actually cause more stress than they’re worth. Here are three lessons for meeting planners to glean from “The Terminator” on why to rethink using robots at events—for now at least.

They Can Be Difficult to Control

The entire “Terminator” plot revolves around how humans lost control of Skynet, a computer system that nearly destroyed humanity except for the human resistance still fighting back. Planners risk the possibility of feeling a glimpse of that control loss at events, as robots and drones can be difficult to maneuver. Some drones actually require a license to fly, while telepresence robots can be difficult to move through doorways or from floor to floor on elevators.

They Can Misconstrue the Main Message

The Terminator travels back in time from 2029 to 1984 with one mission: to destroy Sarah Connor, the mother of John Connor, the future leader of the human resistance. Sarah has one protector, Kyle Reese, also sent from the future; however, the police send Reese to a criminal psychiatrist for what they describe as delusional babble. Just like Reese’s message gets misconstrued, so can a robot’s message at an event. Let’s say you want to bring in a robot to discuss a client’s latest products. Oftentimes, attendees get so distracted with the technology that they forget why the robot is there in the first place.

They Require Wi-Fi & Charged Batteries

While the Terminator seemed unstoppable throughout the entire “Terminator” movie, robots at events have yet to reach that level of independence. Efficient Wi-Fi and charged batteries are required to use most robots. Event Wi-Fi connection can get spotty in large convention centers, which can lead to dropped signals that quite literally result in a robot crashing into a wall or worse.

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