Science reporting can be ridiculous – robot trouser snake? really?


You may have seen the CauseScience post last week of the video of a new robotic snake. It is awesome! Over the weekend, I was perusing the science news on google, and saw the headline above from The Register about the same story. ‘Robot trouser snake stiffens to mount slippery slopes’… really? I can’t even. I understand the importance of a catchy title, but this blatant sexual innuendo is not relevant to the story and basically pokes fun at the terrific article, which was published in Science. The author makes the huge stretch below to get at the lame joke:

The basic robot, as shown, is clad in a textile wrapping or trouser in order to keep sand out of its works – in much the same fashion as Israeli military robots employing a similar form factor.

Next time I’d like to see them be a little more clever….

On a positive note, I would rather see humor and ridiculousness like this in science reporting than the usual overstating or over applying of scientific results.