What's the scariest thing in the world today? Did a clown immediately pop into your head? Congratulations, you have a completely rational fear. That being said, a killer robot may have been your first choice. Even then, that's also a completely rational fear. What would happen if you combined the two though?
The folks at Disney Research apparently never learned to leave well enough alone. The Pittsburgh branch have invented a humanoid robot that can play catch and juggle. It's the latter function that you should fear the most as robots are now learning the art of clowning. A robot clown is a special kind of fear that I hoped humanity would never witness.
The robot can't juggle by itself at the moment as it requires a human partner to exchange balls with. It's only a matter of time, however, before this nightmarish machine will be donning clown makeup and juggling spiked balls of death. The robot ability to play catch only makes it more dangerous as it would be able to strike down puny humans from a distance.
Regardless of my own rational fears of robots and clowns, this is actually pretty amazing technology. The human participants subconsciously react to the body language of the robot as if it were a real person. It won't be long before robots are just another part of human society. Let's just hope they don't become killer clowns.