‘Tiger King 2’ Is Tearfully Confusing and Empty of Power, but Totally Inspiring

Have we given up on robots yet?

A few months back, Amazon let loose a demo video for its TaskRabbit-like service, Handmade Machines, built to connect shoppers with the services of independent contractors. Soon after, a Vine user unveiled his own DoorBot camera-controlled home automation system in the form of a talking, all-action, robo-maid. It’s been a little more than a year since May 2018, and it seems like we’re due for another robot revolution. But the unveiling of “Tiger King 2” is a disheartening disappointment — an entirely frustrating attempt at bot magic with an utterly unsatisfying outcome.

Essentially, the camera has no battery. So for anyone who’s ever had to keep a phone battery alive in a rowboat and rely on the front-facing LEDs and audible alarms to warn others of your distress, having Tiger say “hurry up” to your tablet is like watching him be sucked into a wormhole.

Still, while Tiger King 2 is poor in every aspect of its human-robot interactions, he does seem to do very well in the games section of his interactive universe. Tiger is apparently an adept jumper, capable of smoothly ripping open produce boxes and, in a scene that seems straight out of “Cobra Kai,” chomping down on a bag of potato chips. So it’s not that they’re too artificial to achieve human manipulation and control. Just that they’re a little dorky and don’t seem all that deadly. Which is kind of what we’re into anyway.

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