If you start boiling over in frustration at the mere thought of telemarketers, you’re not alone. Roger Anderson of The Jolly Roger Telephone Company was so sick of unwanted callers, he created a robot to deal with them. The Jolly Roger bot is brilliantly simple: When telemarketers call, it keeps them occupied for as long as possible, using a few pre-recorded words and phrases like “yes,” “uh huh,” and “all right.”
Anderson has made something of a hobby out of recording these calls, and a few of them are pretty hilarious. In addition to non-committal phrases like “yeah, uh huh,” the bot has some more complex tricks up its sleeve to keep telemarketers on the phone. Frustrated or suspicious telemarketers get strung along for just a bit longer with lines like “Hold on, there’s a bee crawling on my arm,” or “Sorry, I just woke up from a nap.” The idea isn’t to torture human telemarketers—the robot is extremely polite—but to waste the time and money of the companies who employ them.
At the moment, use of the robot is free and instructions are available on Anderson’s website. However, Anderson has dreams of turning his robotic telemarketer repellant into an actual paid service that anyone can use (right now, he’s using his own money to keep the bot going). He’s currently raising money to expand the project on Kickstarter. Learn more about his project here, and listen in on one of the robot’s calls below.