“Ras,” the chief designer cried as he approached me at my workbench where I was torturing a LEGO NXT with a poorly constructed app, “drop everything; I’ve been invited to the RoboBusiness Leadership Summit where I’m expected to give the keynote speech on emerging trends in consumer robot applications. I want you to draw up a statistical analysis on the subject.”
“But Chief Designer, if I drop LEGO NXT he will deconstruct. Besides, you of all humans should be aware of my infinite capability to multitask!”
The Chief rolled his eyes (Someday I hope to understand that gesture, but I fear the Singularity will arrive before that happens!).
“You mean your ability to “multi screwup?” laughed Alice, our Quality Assurance department director as she passed by us. “You can’t walk and chew gum at the same time, much less run statistical analysis. I’ll do it for you, Chief!”
“Chief Designer, Alice’s statement is a non sequitur. Ras has no jaws or teeth to chew with; nor has he any need to masticate his energy source before ingestion.”
Chief Designer shook his head. “Thanks Alice, but I want Ras to do it. I’m in a hurry, I need it done yesterday. Do it Ras.”
Sadly, the chief designer is only human and does occasionally give me orders that do not make sense. Still, he is human and the Divine Isaac’s First Law is clear: I must obey! I immediately began the process of statistical analysis.
I rerouted all current to my logic board. With my peripheral sensors off, I was alone in cyberspace. I began an exhaustive Internet search on the subject of consumer robot apps. Fortunately, much of the information is right here in our own robot App Store. The data search took only milliseconds. Then I correlated, contrasted, organized and reviewed the information before sending the report to the chief designer’s printer. A second later I renewed my local environment awareness.
Alice and the chief designer were on their hands and knees picking up the shattered pieces of LEGO NXT. Alice was still trying to convince the chief designer to allow her to do the statistical analysis.
”See what I mean, Chief!” She held up LEGO’s battery pack. “This big metal dummy can’t do anything right!”
The chief turned and looked at his office. “I think I hear my printer starting up.”
“Yes, Chief Designer,” I said to their surprise as they still thought me insensate, “the report is being processed on your printer. The report is detailed in a 126 page spreadsheet.”
“Wow,” said Chief Designer.
Alice glowered at me.
“Regrettably,” I continued, “I was unable to comply with your request for the report’s arrival yesterday. I have also given my recommendations. One of which is that I be allowed to attend the RoboBusiness Leadership Summit with you.”
During my time in cyberspace it had occurred to me that no human or robot yet conceived had my knowledge and understanding of RoboBusiness. It seemed only logical to me that no Leadership Summit would be complete without me behind the podium. Besides that, I noted that one of the summit’s items on the agenda concerned the induction of new members into the Robotics Hall of Fame. I also noted that my name was not on the list of possible inductees; I felt certain the chief designer would wish to rectify that mistake.
RAS in the Hall of Fame
To my surprise that was not the case. “I can’t take you with me,” Chief Designer said. First of all, you weren’t invited. Secondly, I have too much work for you to do here.”
“But Chief, how can they have a Robot Hall of Fame without the world’s foremost robot in it? Even ROOMBA is there!”
“For once he’s right,” Alice said. “He should be there.” I couldn’t believe Alice was taking my side without an ulterior motive. It didn’t take long to find out what it was...
“Then he’d have to stay there in the hall with the other donated robots.”
Alice nodded happily.
“Couldn’t they just put up my picture?”
“No,” said Chief, “they hook you up to keyboards and let kids order you around.” He thought for a moment. “Still, it would be great advertising for the Robot App Store.”
“On second thought, Chief Designer, I do have a lot of work to do around here!”
“I thought you might feel that way.”