22nd May 2017 The MALESTROM

Robot to protect England fans at World Cup

We can expect things to get a bit tasty, or should we say nasty, when England fans make the trip to Russia for the 2018 World Cup (given qualification is looking pretty good). You could say there’s some history there, a bit of previous. But who’s around to protect the mild mannered among English football fans from getting a shoeing at the boot of an angry Russki? Well fear no more followers of the Three Lions, as help is at hand … that of the robot kind.

Yes Russian boffins from the Moscow Technological Institute have developed the strangely named Alantim, not to be confused with the grunting Tim Allen of 90s Home Improvement fame. Apparently little robot Timmy (he’s four foot) has a duty to serve fans and has specialist cyber intelligence. He speaks English, has built in security cameras, and can detect human emotions, so when things kick off he calls out the cops. But before any services are called he tries to use logic on potential threats to prevent violence. Which may be easier said than done with beer bottles bouncing off his ever so cute head.

It’s amazing just how far robot development has come, compare Tim Tim to 1985’s Omnibot 2000 … is that the same cassette player slot in his stomach as well?

An advertisement for a Tomy Omnibot 2000 and a picture of World Cup robot Allentim

Separated at birth

But enough from us, what does Tim the bot himself have to say about the whole thing …

“My name is Alantim, I work as an interpreter at Moscow Technological Institute,” Alantim says in the video below (which is in Russian). “I read online that many English football fans doubt whether a trip to Russia is safe. There’s nothing for you to worry about, I will be your defence.” Tim goes on to say, in perfect Russian robot voice, “We promise to take you around Moscow, where I will guard you from any problems. I can summon police, resolve arguments … and even predict a conflict on the basis of the emotions of those around me.”

The MALESTROM certainly feels safer in the knowledge that if we end up in mother Russia for the footy next year and an Ivan Drago lookalike feels like picking a fight over whether Putin could take out Theresa May in an arm wrestle we’ll have Alantim at our service to pour water on any potential kick off. Saying that is he waterproof? And flameproof while we’re at it? Best of luck Tim.

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