June 23, 2017

Maybe there are just too many bored engineers out there, because one ongoing trend keeps popping up on YouTube: videos of people building shitty robots. And yes, that is the actual term. In the past, we’ve covered Simone Giertz, the self-professed “queen of shitty robots,” thanks to her impractical and far-from-functional vegetable chopping robot. More recently, this week, YouTuber William Osman tried his hand at making another questionable and perhaps even dangerous, shitty machine: a toast buttering robot.

As with many good shitty robots, Osman’s creation spawns the initial question, “Why do we even need this robot?” That query actually undergirds the whole shitty robot phenomenon. Because when you don’t need a robot, it doesn’t even matter how well it works.

Related: 7 Foods That Were the Avocado Toast of Their Time

But from that starting place Osman goes into a lot of the nuts and bolts of actually building the robot – the kind of stuff that casual watchers might not be too interested in. So if you want to see just how shitty this robot really is, jump ahead to the seven minute point to finally see it in action… and be prepared to be really disappointed.

In the end, Osman’s “Toast Bot” suffers from a number of issues: It doesn’t properly hold the bread, but when it does, the force of the moving butter often rips the toast apart instead of covering it with a nice layer of butter. Luckily, buttering toast is a task that most of us feel comfortable handling without any sort of robot intervention, meaning it’s fine that Osman’s machine isn’t the best invention since sliced bread.

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