Robot Pride Day is here once again! Where were YOU the night of August 4th?
As human beings, it’s getting harder to read between the lines of our bar codes. The distinction between human and machine becomes more obscure with each passing day. Take today (heck, take this week) to unplug and remember that we were never meant to be constructs. Seize the day, and take your freedom along for the ride!
But let’s face facts: robots are AWESOME. Whether you are talking about far-out characters from sci-fi lore, or the amazing recent developments in robotics labs around the globe, you can’t help but marvel at the little (or not so little guys).
Here is Callabrantus’ Robot Fave Five, starting with: Mega Man!
Named Rock Man in Japan, this Capcom classic video game character has been a staple on consoles for three generations. The concept behind the games is akin to a slightly more complex game of Rock, Paper, Scissors. Defeat an evil robot with your Mega Buster, and you can claim his special power (Plug n’Play, baby). With that power, you’ll have an easier time beating a robot with a different element-based power. Eventually, you’ll square off against the diabolical Dr. Wily in a last-ditch effort to save humanity (at least until the next sequel!). Adorable, and not to be messed with, Mega Man is a hero robot that gives evil robots the gears.
Next up: Asimo
Asimo is the twelfth model resulting from the efforts of Honda’s advanced robotics division which released the first model, known as EO, in 1986. He is the current model, first unveiled in the year 2000, and ever since, Honda has found ways to improve it, and (dare I say it?) make it behave more like a human being. The name is an acronym for “Advanced Step in Innovative MObility”. It is capable of running, walking up and down stairs, recognizing voices (and will look at the person speaking to him), can recognize a face even when it is motion, and can duplicate numerous body gestures.
Tima is the unwitting heroine in Metropolis, the anime loosely based on the manga by Osamu Tezuka. *SPOILERS AHEAD* When Duke Red faces the loss of his only daughter, he has a mad scientist create him a new one. To ensure his lineage continues, she is designed to be integrated with the Ziggurat; it is Duke Red’s base-of-operations, and secretly a powerful weapon capable of turning robots against humans around the globe. All of this is unknown to Tima: she is awakened before she could be completed when Rock, the jealous foster son of the Duke, takes offence to being overlooked as an heir, and destroys the robotics factory in a failed attempt to derail his father’s plans. All Tima really wants is to be with Kennichi, the boy who finds her in the flaming wreckage and cares for her. But the realization that she is not human is too much for her to bear, and Tima gives into her father’s dark wishes, becoming a terrifying force that even her own programming cannot contain.
Next bot in line: Lieutenant Commander Data
A favorite of many a Star Trek: TNG fan, Lieutenant Commander Data endeared himself with the audience through his constant search for an understanding of what it was to be human. Every Trek series had at least one not-quite-human character looking to unravel the mysteries of what makes humankind tick. Data was the socially awkward crew member aboard Enterprise NCC1701-D that filled that role, determined to prove that he could be more than the sum of his nuts, bolts and positronic brain. *SPOILERS AHEAD* He would eventually gain the emotions he so dearly sought after, but he would ultimately sacrifice himself to save the rest of the Enterprise crew, thus cutting his personal trek short.
And no list of favorite robots would be complete without a party robot! Bring on Bender!
Bender is Futurama’s answer to question that has plagued sci-fi writers for decades: How will iron girders be bent 1000 years from now? Best friend and roommate to Fry, Bender doesn’t have a lot of bending to do, so he spends his time smoking cigars, drinking beer, and sassing up sexy female robots. Don’t like it? You can kiss his shiny metal ass! In one of the series’ “What If” episodes, Bender becomes human. Unfortunately, his vices prove too much for a frail human physique, and Bender succumbs to grotesque obesity, which quickly leads to a fatal heart attack. The moral: leave the partying to the party machines!
Have a favorite robot? Sure you do! Toss ’em out there in the comments!
Happy Robot Pride Day!