adBlockCheck

Recent News

Best Sports Stadiums

As Detroit prepares to demolish and say goodbye to the storied Joe Louis Arena, Onion Sports examines some of the greatest stadiums of all time.

Bo Obama Addresses Graduates Of Dayton Obedience School

DAYTON, OH—Calling on the 2017 class of canines to make the most of their training as they head out into the world, former first dog Bo Obama delivered a stirring commencement speech Friday to graduates of the Dayton Obedience School.

‘Star Wars’ Turns 40

When George Lucas’ Star Wars premiered in 1977, the movie quickly became a phenomenon. On its 40th anniversary, The Onion looks back on the franchise’s defining moments:

Mom Finds Disturbing Reading Material In Teenage Son’s Bedroom

OMAHA, NE—Saying she felt disgusted and saddened by the shocking discovery, local woman Beth Loomis told reporters Thursday that she was deeply disturbed after finding recruitment reading material from the Baylor University football team in her teenage son’s bedroom.

Most Notable Google Ventures

Ten years ago this week, Google Street View launched, offering panoramic views of locations all over the world. As the tech giant continues to debut new projects, The Onion highlights some of Google’s most ambitious ventures to date:

Rural Working-Class Archbishops Come Out In Droves To Welcome Trump To Vatican

VATICAN CITY—Arriving in their dusty pickup trucks from as far away as the dioceses of Oria and Locri-Gerace to express their support for a leader who they say embodies their interests and defends their way of life, droves of rural working-class archbishops reportedly poured into St. Peter’s Square today to greet U.S. president Donald Trump during his visit to the Vatican.

Rookie First Baseman Nervous To Chat With Baserunners

ATLANTA—Noting how important it is to make a good first impression, Pittsburgh Pirates rookie first baseman Josh Bell told reporters before Tuesday’s game against the Atlanta Braves that he’s still nervous about chatting with opposing baserunners.
End Of Section
  • More News

MIT Fraternity Accused Of Robot Hazing

CAMBRIDGE, MA—Several members of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology chapter of the Theta Tau fraternity are in campus-police custody today following a brutal hazing incident in which one robot remains missing and two others are in critical condition with extensive circuitry and servo-motor injuries, sources revealed Monday.

AMBLE5, top, and Bradbury, bottom, two of the pledgebots victimized in the latest on-campus incident of robo-hazing.

The robots, experimental prototypes recently devised at MIT's prestigious Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, were participating in an apparent initiation exercise that police say involved butyl alcohol and compressed air.

According to eyewitnesses, the three robots were ripped from their chargers at the Theta Tau chapter house at 3 a.m. Tuesday. One, a titanium-alloy hexapod approximately 13 inches in diameter, was reportedly forced to climb stairs built at a grade too steep for its small hinged legs, causing six of its pneumatic actuators to short out. A second robot, a biped from MIT's Leg Laboratory, was allegedly forced to replicate "the same humiliating hopping algorithm" 200,000 times, and is currently in critical condition in the laboratory's emergency-repair room.

The third robot, a tread-driven 38-inch-tall rover, is feared drowned after being forced to consume over 40 terabytes of data and then swim across the Charles River with a burning candle stuck in its rear port.

"We will thoroughly investigate this matter, and take strong disciplinary action," MIT Dean of Students Geraldine Knight said. "These robots are extremely artificially intelligent. They wouldn't willingly subject themselves to this sort of abuse without extreme levels of peer pressure or even downright reprogramming."

MIT students discuss the robo-hazing incident at The Thirsty Scholar, a popular local hangout.

Among those detained for questioning were Theta Tau chapter president David Kovis, treasurer Charles Leung, and fraternity members Lee Berger, Andy Ockridge, A. Muduthanapally, and Chen Kwan Tan. They could be charged with first-degree botslaughter and operating a motorized robot under the influence, charges that carry a maximum punishment of lifetime banishment from the MIT Media lab.

This is not the first case of robot hazing on the campus. Last fall, during "Rush Week," a spider-legged unit was found struggling in a closet at MIT's School of Engineering, stripped of its outer casing, its motion sensors covered with duct tape. The perpetrators were never found.

On another occasion, a robot was locked in a room and forced to calculate pi to the 1083 decimal place in what officials called one of the worst cases of binge-thinking they'd ever seen.

This latest incident comes in the wake of a February episode in which an ambulating chatbot device created at Caltech was programmed to repeat the phrase "I am a faggot" while locomoting across campus.

Robots have also reportedly been made to fight each other, often to total annihilation, in the basements of applied-science-based campus fraternal organizations during their respective "hell weeks."

The Theta Tau fraternity house where the alleged systems abuse took place.

A spokesman for the Theta Tau fraternity claimed that the "fun just got out of hand," and that the robot pledges were "100 percent cool with the initiation."

"They showed us they were willing to do anything to be Theta Tau brothers. Loyalty, commitment, and conformity are what the Greek system is all about," the spokesman said.

In protest, human-emotion-simulator robot Kismet, a respected member of the  MIT community, announced that it will  only display an expression of disapproval—refusing to smile, show fear, or raise a curious eyebrow—until those responsible receive appropriate punishment.

More from this section

‘Star Wars’ Turns 40

When George Lucas’ Star Wars premiered in 1977, the movie quickly became a phenomenon. On its 40th anniversary, The Onion looks back on the franchise’s defining moments:

Sign up For The Onion's Newsletter

Give your spam filter something to do.

Close