You might be feeling cocky after watching this robot play the violin, because it isn't all that good. But the thing is: It's just showing off. Toyota's "Partner" robots are designed to be personal assistants, and the whole "Oh? Is that a violin? Yeah, I used to take lessons, do you mind if I play a tune?" thing is just their way of bragging about how flexible they are. Jerks. (Are you imagining a sci-fi story about robot personal assistants who get laid off? And they're forced to busk in the subway, playing their violins for pennies? And it's a thoughtful, even moving story about technology and economics and self-worth and obsolescence? Nerd.) [Popular Science]