Simone Giertz Gives an Amusing TED Talk About the Psychological Importance of Making Useless Things

Simone Giertz, who calls herself the “Queen of Shitty Robots“, gave a really amusing, inspiring and honest TED talk about the importance of making useless things. A born perfectionist, Giertz found that by giving herself permission to purposely fail, she was able to release herself from her own stifling expectations.

I got interested in building robots and I wanted to teach myself about hardware but building things with hardware especially if you’re teaching yourself is something that’s really difficult to do. It has a high likelihood of failure and moreover it has a high likelihood of making you feel stupid. And that was my biggest fear at the time so I came up with a setup that would guarantee success a hundred percent of the time. With my setup it would be nearly impossible to fail and that was that. Instead of trying to succeed I was going to try to build things that would fail.

Giertz also demonstrated some of her latest inventions – a googly-eye shirt and a wearable Lazy Susan device that brings items to the wearer’s mouth.

Simone Giertz Wearable Device TED Talk

Just a few weeks ago, Giertz emotionally informed her viewers that she has a benign brain tumor and that she requires extensive brain surgery, which poses a number of risks. It also gives Giertz a great deal of fodder for bad jokes.

Curve ball from life! Everything still feels pretty surreal, but I’m getting through it. Queue jokes about shitty brain surgery robots.

Despite this news, Giertz went ahead with the talk and even shot some really amusing behind-the-scenes footage.

I said a lot more than just my name. Plus there’s a great photo of me as a teenager so you should really go watch it.