select all

Is This GIF Robot Awesome or Terrifying?

Meet Peeqo.

A GIF of Peeqo, a voice-activated robot programmed to respond solely in GIFs, has been making the rounds online for several months. I believe the first time I saw it I showed my colleagues and typed something like “BURN IT. BURN IT WITH FIRE.” There was something about the cutesy way Peeqo twists and nods like a human neck, which causes the fabric around it to stretch like human skin, that was just a little uncanny for me.

More recently, Peeqo’s creator, Abhishek Singh, posted a YouTube video giving more details about how the bot works. In the demo, Singh asks Peeqo to “Wake up,” prompting a GIF of Jon Snow — Game of Thrones spoiler alert — coming back from the dead. The device has microphones where its ears are and a lighted ring atop its head to designate when it is listening. “Peeqo, say hello.” Cue GIF of person waving. “Peeqo, it is pronounced ‘GIF’ or ‘JIF?’” GIF of a man holding up someone at gunpoint captioned “say ‘JIF’ one more goddamned time.” You get the idea.

Singh also programmed his robot to play music via Spotify and to alert him when he’s spending too much time on Reddit. Peeqo has a bit of an attitude. “I tried to give him a personality so at times his responses can be a little spunky,” Singh explains. If you want to try building your own, Singh shared details on construction and design on Imgur. If you do try your hand, please please make the “neck” less creepy. Thanks.

Is This GIF Robot Awesome or Terrifying?