Tags → robots
New Bot Day! Elektro is my first bot from the 1930s. “Elektro the Moto-Man” was 7 feet tall and could walk and talk, differentiate colors, and “smoke” cigarettes. He appeared at the 1939 World’s Fair in New York. This is a giveaway pin from the fair, to my knowledge no actual toys were made of this bot. Westinghouse Electric & Manufacturing Company was by then a 50 year old industrial concern. They were there showing off several technologies, among them the new tech of television. Surprisingly, Elektro was not their first promotional robot: that was 1928’s “Herbert Televox.” “Robot as sales and public relations tool” is yet another use of the idea of “robot.” It seems to me we put a face and body on technologies to make them more palatable, more understandable, less threatening.
New Bot Day! Perserverence is a semiautonomous robotic rover! Launched by NASA July 2020; landed February 2021. “Percy” is a scientific explorer, testing the environment of Mars, seeking evidence of former microbial life, collecting rock and soil samples, and testing oxygen production to prep for potential future crewed missions. Go Percy Go!
New Bot Day! Hello Bertie is a customized “World War Robot” bot designed by illustrator/creator Ashley Wood. It’s beautifully customized by Jason Chalker @manlyart ! This was a lovely surprise gift from @hellokellykuhl!
New Bot Day! ASIMO (Advanced Step in Innovative Mobility) is a real robot built by Honda in 2000. Honda continued building ASIMO bots (the name inspired by Isaac Asimov) until 2018. My robot collection is fanciful, but robotics is real. Factual and fictional robots inspire me to ponder our past and our possible futures.
New Bot Day! Are droids free? D-O’s story in 2019’s Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker forces us to ponder. D-O escapes service with a murderous Sith and joins the Rebel Alliance and is happy! It’s a better lot in life, but is the little robot free? What is freedom? Interrogating the ethics of a story is worthwhile.
New Bot Day! Chromedome was built by Shredder to defeat the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. From 1987 tv, he’s a powerful robot ninja and a boss to human ninjas. He was pulverized by the Turtles but his remains were not recovered. Will he return? I don’t know, but I’m gonna enjoy this cafe au lait in the meantime.
New Bot Day! Happy Mini Tin Robot by Schylling was presented to me last week by my nephews and he fits in great with my bot collection. Here he’s hanging out with toy animal molds I scavenged from the sand at the beach!
New Bot Day! SpotBot™ comes from around 1988 and was made by Tomy, Japanese maker of many cool toys. He has a battery, and when turned on spins around and “barks” cutely. A robot to brighten your desk!
New Bot Day! Marvin (the paranoid android) first appeared on radio in 1978 in the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and in books, tv, and film. This iteration is from 2005. It’s a solid design, but my favorite is the 1981 television version. Marvin is super-intelligent, with “a brain the size of the planet” but is nevertheless depressed. #h2g2 #marvintheparanoidandroid
New Bot Day! Rock ’Em Sock ’Em Robots was developed by Marvin Glass and Associates in the 1960s. Originally the toy was meant to represent human boxers, but the death in the ring of of Davey Moore in 1963 the project was scrapped. But the toy was fun. The company “de-humanized” the figures. They were robots that fall apart, not a person that falls over. They have science fictional backstories: “Red Rocker” from Soltarus II fights “Blue Bomber, pride of Umgluck.” I wonder when we started using robots to stand in to let us enjoy entertaining violence? Endless streams of battle droids are shot, dismembered, and crushed in Star Wars movies and animation, to comical effect. Contrast that with the moving death of K-2SO in Rogue One. We are selective about which robots we choose to think of as worthy of dignity. Empathy turns out to be a creative choice not just for the creator but for the viewer. It’s worth interrogating our hearts when we cheer and laugh about violence being done to others. Sometimes, it’s just a toy. Sometimes, not.
New Bot Day! Daimos is from 1978 anime 闘将ダイモス (“Fighting General Daimos”); 3rd of Toei “Robot Romance Trilogy.” Voltes V & Combattler V came first. It transforms into a giant road vehicle in “Tranzer” mode! Daimos knows karate and defends Earth from alien invaders!
New Bot Day! Pneuman is from the Tom Strong Universe. He was created by Tom’s father Sinclair Strong and was originally steam-powered. I like his natty tuxedo-style paint job. He a servant and personal robot to Tom and was created by Alan Moore in 1999 for the comics!
After my 6am swim in City Heights I hankered for a concha. Panchita’s Bakery @panchitasbakery in Golden Hill (I lived a few blocks away after my first divorce) had the goods. Left and saw that Influx @Influx1 on Broadway was open. Still great. Oh, and New Bot Day! I think of this guy as “Carl” – the Cyberdyne Systems Model 101 (T-800) from Terminator: Dark Fate who grows a conscience. My prior 101 has a broken leg. Feeling a lot of positive vibes lately. Grow a conscience. Be funny. No fate but what we make. But always be ready for SkyNet to come after you.
New Bot Day! Space Robot (No. 902) is a toy from the late 1960s. He’s a windup toy who walks and has a radar dish on his head that spins. I don’t know much about his manufacturer or origin but love the chrome plastic look. He’s a kitschy addition to my collection!
New Bot Day! Claw is a part of a 1970 toy robot series called Ding-A-Lings. Claw could ride on the Super Loop Skyway a kind of battery powered monorail that could do loops. An interesting cross of robot toy and toy train set. I love finding about robots I had no inkling existed!