Robot Parade

About three weeks ago, I cut out slips of paper and put them in a jar with potential blog or Periscope topics on them. I have a lot of ideas, but when it comes down to social media, I can think of nothing to say. I thought slips of paper in a jar would, therefore, be a good way to always have something to say.

Sure, okay. Three weeks later. My problem is not thinking of something to say, but wanting to say anything at all. It’s extreme introverted behavior, which I slide in and out of — obviously, as I’ve been quite prolific in my blogging and ‘scoping during some seasons of my life.

Sigh. I didn’t think I could handle doing a Periscope today, so I settled for this. I even pulled out a subject: Robot Parade. What kind of subject is that?! Who filled this stupid jar?

Aside from its being a They Might Be Giants song, I have no plans of conducting a robot parade anytime soon. It might be fun; I just don’t have the resources to build that many robots. Apparently, there is a RoboParade attached to a RoboFest put on by the Lawrence Technological Institute. That sounds fun. It’s for kids, though.

Speaking of kids, I got my son into Vex Robotics for his last birthday. I enjoyed watching him build it. The best part is that he problem-solves. If he does something wrong, or if one of his creations isn’t working as he imagined, he tries to fix it. He doesn’t get frustrated and give up. It’s a good personality quality. I like it.

But as per my usual philosophy of not talking about my kids on the internet (or rarely and very circumspectly), I’ll stop talking about him. Instead, I’ll leave you with a parade of best TV/movie robots. This sounds like something I’ve done before, so my apologies.

The Robot, Lost in Space: He looks like a vacuum cleaner and is famous for saying, “Danger, Will Robinson!” Robbie the Robot was designed by the same artist, but he doesn’t look quite as endearing to me.

KITT, Knight Rider: Not a robot, you say? He’s the epitome of a robot, AI housed inside a cool car exterior.

WALL-E, WALL-E: This movie just makes me want to cry. Well, okay, I actually do cry. I think it’s the plaintive sound of “Eva! Eva!” and the returning “WALL-E! WALL-E!”

Eva, Eva: She’s from an unexpectedly intriguing Basque film I watched recently. Some film images stick inside my head — like taking the back off Eva. Very poignant.

Forgotten Robot, Castle in the Sky: This is about the dreamiest robot I’ve encountered, but mainly that’s owing to it being a Studio Ghibli creation. The robot has been forgotten, which is sad. But it cares for the birds on its forgotten flying island.

Optimus Prime, Transformers: I realize Transformers are alien robots, but they are robots nonetheless. When I was a kid, I was transfixed with the idea of being one thing and turning into another. It seemed so…powerful. Of course, Optimus Prime just happens to be the most amazing Transformer.

Data, Star Trek: The Next Generation: I’ll admit it. Next Generation is my favorite version of Star Trek, but mostly because of characters like Data. I know, I know. For some reason, we humans are emotionally manipulated by robots that start to act like us. We think it’s cute. And some of us are really just Data, but in reverse. Almost-robot humans.

Muffy the Daggit, Battlestar Galactica: Played by a chimpanzee, Muffy is just another way to manipulate us humans with the cuteness of robots — but, this time, one that’s a pet.

Marvin, Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy: He’s cute, yes, but he’s also obnoxiously gloomy because he’s vastly more intelligent than humans and rarely has an opportunity to use this vast intelligence. I like him because he’s annoying. Really. That’s why.

And that’s it. You might like robots for different reasons. There are many cool ones out there that just aren’t as cute, annoying, or endearing as the ones I like.

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9 comments

  1. No T-1000s? You biased against killer robots or something?

    I kid. I do have to say my only addition would be the most useful of all utility robots, that lovable little trashcan R2-D2. An obvious pick, yes, but Artoo always managed to come through in the clutch.

    Except that time in Return of the Jedi where he couldn’t open the door to the shield generator . . .

    1. Ha ha, well, yeah, I like cute robots. But Optimus Prime is a battle bot, and the forgotten Laputa bot is a battle bot, too, as he demonstrates at the end. 🙂

  2. Castle is one of my favorite Miyazaki movies, but I’ve only seen it once. Is that weird? That robot did its best, as I recall.

    My son is the same way, at least when he’s building something physical, like dominoes or his marble race course thing. He NEVER gets frustrated when he screws up making things, but he gets frustrated at things like losing at video games. Weird, but I guess it’s better then the converse.

    1. I was just trying to think of ones that have stuck in my head for personality or cuteness. I don’t think they’re verifiably better than others. 🙂

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