‘Shitty Robots’ creator Simone Giertz’s TED Talk is a must-watch
YouTube creator Simone Giertz, who is famous for her “shitty robots” videos, released a TED Talk on Wednesday. Predictably, it’s wonderful, and you should watch it.
In the 12-minute talk, Giertz focuses on the value of making useless inventions, which is essentially the bread and butter of her job. Most compellingly, she discusses her past experiences with performance anxiety, and how building useless robots allowed her to delve into engineering without having to worry about the outward appearance of failure.
Giertz also tests a robot designed to help her drink water onstage while her hands are shaking. Unsurprisingly, watching her test her creations live is every bit as delightful as watching one of her videos.
And the test — which, of course, doesn’t quite work — is in the service of her message. “The true beauty of making useless things is this acknowledgement that you don’t always know what the answer is,” Giertz says near the end of the talk. “It turns off that voice in your head that tells you that you know exactly how the world works.”
“Maybe a toothbrush helmet isn’t the answer,” she adds, “but at least you’re asking the question.”