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Mini-me   May5 2006

Filed under Thaumatolatry |

AkA Cooper-S r50rd Hoax

At first it seems rather amazing – but then, maybe not. After all, you’ve seen enough movies to know something like r50rd exists .. surely!

col-orisit-daveTake one dotty old English engineering genius, Dr. Colin Mayhew, who built an awesome robot called "r50rd" as a sort of ‘skunk works’ in some back-blocks research facility of BMW’s Mini motor vehicle facility in England.

Then then witness an astonishing video of his robot in action.

His **cobbly old web site [see ** at bottom of this article] is exactly how one expects it to look, with some staggering videos of testing the robot, one of which evokes "oh come on, they can’t do that .. can they?"

Apart from the size and appearance of the thing – and the marvelous revving internal combustion engine powering it, roaring in anticipation of each robot IQ challenge – there is little you wouldn’t expect from eccentric Pommy genius. Nice touch, too, using that quaint British Land Rover, an icon that only Colin would be likely to drive. Probably needs it to negotiate the mud and cow shit surrounding the shed that lies detached, no doubt, near a picturesque manor in some estate not too far at all from a postcard English village.

My God! Robots can do that, already?? r50rdSearching eight-billion (decidedly) odd web pages for the words "r50rd" and "hoax" eventually leads you to someone who seems to know. Or do they?

That, you see, is the problem – finding truth on the Internet. You only need gather sufficient contra-evidentiary views on any web-based issue to decide if you are being had – but you never really can ever know. Life’s like that. Perhaps a web site, featuring graphics designer Jose Perez and a recent project of his, is ‘evidence’ enough?

But wait, there’s more. This next link might be part of the joke, part of a "viral marketing" hoax, leading you on to intended destinations of unknown machinations. Regulars of Michael Walls’ webzine probably consider this the final word, the ultimate assessment and not just another convoluted carrot. Are all these people in on the hoax? Let’s face it. It’s a grand publicist’s marketing scheme, working a treat.


Yet you must admit the Internet would be a little duller with out such mischief. Like April 1 without a prank.

We veteran denizens at SheepOverboard find research on these issues uproariously uplifting, a jolly good time being had by all. Rarely, in all the smoky, dingy, poorly-lit chat rooms and forums awash with kiboshing and kibosh, have we found ourselves genuinely delighted, cackling aloud, at the button-pressing and mischief on this Museum of Hoaxes banter debating r50rd’s viability, or verity.

"The Land rover was actually the fake" or "I disconnect my Chevy’s battery every night just to be sure it doesn’t try anything FUNNY while I sleep!" And more: "12 years of Sunday school and 6 years of boarding school turned me into a bipedal robot concerned only with the endless consumption of (low octane) beer and crap electronics, I can’t deny the possibility of this godly mini-me."

All interspersed with genuinely indignant disbelief that the leg-pullers are that gullible.

** Sadly, all of the links in this article are subject to "link rot" as this delightful little chapter in the Internet’s history fades away. Fortunately, you may still view vestiges of the hoax at: The ghost of Colin’s ‘cobbly old website’ at the blessed

Which only makes us wonder why the originators of this deliciously clever hoax would ever kill the original www. website.

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