Thursday, July 1, 2010

Four Favorite Robots: Mr. Pony

@HumanHand, an Internet friend, asked me to name my five most interesting robots. Of course, this was in the context of me blathering on about dancing like a robot, but this fact is unimportant to the discussion. Vowing to take this question seriously, I have taken it seriously; and given our communal love of robots, this seemed the proper forum in which to take it seriously. I have reduced the number to four, to make the challenge more challenging to conceptualize, and less challenging to execute (drawing is hard).

X-51 (Machine Man; Aaron Stack)
In the beginning, X-51 spent his entire day agonizing over his humanity, never realizing that all this whining made him more even more human than the weird, flat characters with which he shared his comic book. As goofy as this endless soul-searching was, it begs certain questions. How could X-51 miss his own humanity all those years? Could it be that the mind is an imperfect tool for understanding its own workings? And if machines can ask if they have humanity, then don't they? (And if that's the case, why don't AI scientists just make a machine that speaks the question "Do I have a soul" and call it a day?)

Mouse Droid
Found aboard the Death Star. I cannot figure out, for the life of me, what these damn things do. They don't carry information— The Death Star has an internal comm system and intranet capable of displaying images and other complex readouts. You see Stormtroopers following them in one scene, but wouldn't an object designed to be followed be a little more, I don't know; visible? The only thing I can think of is that maybe they're like little Roombas, cleaning and polishing the shiny Death Star floors. I wonder what they're saying, with all those squeaks and squirts.


Shockwave
Near as I can tell, Shockwave just sat on Cybertron, talking to Megatron on the telephone. Once in a while he would open a space bridge, or something. He was support staff. He could also turn into a giant ray-gun pistol. The fact that he was apparently all alone in his office, and maybe his whole office building, and possibly his entire planet (it was really never clear to me if there was anyone else on Cybertron); with no one to hold the ray-gun he turned into; makes him an especially melancholy figure. At the end of the day, who did he have to go for drinks with? No one, that's who. I bet the time difference was murder, too. I bet when Megatron called, he was super-happy.


Moby
Yeah. Kinda partial to this guy.

* * *

Please, Community--submit your own Four Most Interesting Robots! As you can see from the tweet, these robots can inexplicably not include Bender from Futurama or the Robot from Lost in Space. For more information on any of these robots, fricking Google them.

21 comments:

Litcube said...

This has been one of my favourite posts. I love this post.

I will think of robots and participate.

I had always thought that if I owned a droid, I would hope it was the little guy. And I always thought he was a roomba. In one of the starwars games, the little thing was a duct cleaner, but might not have been the same type.

FAKA! said...

Great topic! We should do 5 most interesting monsters next... I'm digging deep into my childhood and here is what I came up with:

1. Mechagodzilla, the original not the remake version

2. Mazinga my favorite from the Shogun Warriors

3. Maximilian from The Blackhole

4. Cylon Centurians from the original Battlestar Galactica

5. Bob also from The Blackhole


As for robots I wanted to punch in the face the hardest it would probably have been Twiki from Buck Rodgers.

Mr. Pony said...

OMG I love Bob.

FAKA! said...

Yup... poor old Bob had a rough life compared to Vincent.

kamapuaa said...

*bidibidibidi* What's wrong, you don't like Mel Blanc?

kamapuaa said...

Also, to contribute, I'm a big fan of K-9 from Doctor Who. He's a state of the art supercomputer from the year 5000. He's also a good boy. Yes he is. Sure he looks a bit disco, but who doesn't love a tin dog with undersized batteries and mobility issues?

FAKA! said...

Nothing against Mel... But there was something about Twiki that was reminiscent of how Scrappy Doo was in Scooby Doo... and yes I wanted to punch Scrappy in the face just as bad... Yeah I know, I probably have issues.

Annie said...

I loved that mouse droid, it was totally random. It would've been awesomer had Shockwave been on a rotary phone.

Galspanic said...

My leftmost shelf has been waiting for this day.

I'd have to pick five from this line up? Damn. Give me some time.

Galspanic said...

I always thought Shockwave was plotting behind Megatron's back. Did I have that wrong?

Mr. Pony said...

I saw Shockwave as being extremely loyal, although not slavishly loyal like Soundwave, and not super-un-loyal like Starscream. Shockwave believed in the Decepticon dream, I think, and believed that Megatron was the one who would make it happen.

Thanks, LItcube. Was that Star Wars game with the duct cleaner drive Dark Forces?

Mr. Pony said...

oh yeah, and that dog robot is retarded

Mr. Pony said...

Okay, wait, so what does that tube in his mouth do?

kamapuaa said...

Oh, you know, shoots stuff.

rowlh said...

Very nice post. Super impressed with your skills and thoughtfulness. I kinda wish there was a fifth...

Ruby Tenneco said...

Hey just read comments. Sorry to steal Mechagodzilla, Faka! I also almost drew a Shogun Warrior.

Mr. Pony said...

(thanks, dudes)

Mr. Pony said...

Okay, so that was the first Dr. Who clip I've ever seen. Two thoughts: 1) Did not know Dr. Who took place in the Whedonverse. 2) The Doctor's coat was a more compelling special effect than that robot dog, but it looks like the show was being true to its roots by not "updating" the character, despite the fact that this one episode probably cost more to produce than the entire first season. I have a lot of respect for that. Although I guess they did kill it. Still.

kamapuaa said...

Not to derail this favorite robots thread, but I just wanted to mention that the first four seasons of the new Doctor Who are available on netflix streaming...

Robot content: w1k1 from Jason of Star Command Anyone else remember this show?

Galspanic said...

Holy fuck, Dragos.
I'mna drawr my robots as not to look like a gorram pussy.

Mr. Pony said...

I totally watched that show. Hurts a little, now. Stop winking at me, Jason of Star Command.