Jim Westergren
A blog about me, my projects, SEO, Web Development and Personal Development.
"If we did all the things we are capable of, we would literally astound ourselves." - Thomas A. Edison

The Curious Robot

Notice: The below short story was written by me back in january 2004 when I was 21 and English is not my native language. In June 2012 an author of school textbooks for Indian students, Ritu Taneja, reached out to me and I gave her permission to use this story in a textbook for the benefit of Indian students. The result is an adaption into a play form which can be downloaded here.

In a far distant future, Earth was inhabited by robots and the quantity of the human race was less than thousand. There were three main classes of robots - Construction, Transport and Repair robots. This is a story of a special repair robot. He was small, new, yellow ... and curious.

"I want this car operational in the next half an hour" said the blue transport robot called T-59 to the small yellow repair robot, R-62. "As per your request" replied R-62 while welding together two metal plates.

In this big city there were a lot of vehicle traffic and R-62 used to look a bit on the cars that was passing by him.

Suddenly a special fancy car came being escorted by 4 special blue robots on motorbikes.

R-62 looked at it and asked with a strong interest and asked T-59: "What is that?"

The car stopped in a special way and the four blue robots gathered to the opening of the vehicle.

"This is not a Construction Robot, not a Transport Robot, not a Repair Robot, neither a droid or android, ... it is a HUMAN." Answered the transport robot to the small yellow robot.

"Wow, a HUMAN! I have never seen one." Said R-62.

The human stepped out of the vehicle surrounded by the four escort robots looking a bit small in comparison to the other robots.

"What a wimp!" said R-62 after gotten his first impression.

"Don't underestimate the humans, they are superior to us robots. They are able to perform any action it wants to. Even those which robots cannot perform such as giving orders to robots, destroying them or constructing new ones. It is even able to harm another human being or organizing mass destruction, which they have been doing a lot in the history. Also it does not even have to follow orders if it does not want to," said the Transport robot quietly to the yellow robot beside him.

"What a dangerous thing! I can only repair cars." Said R-62.

"If you would try to harm him or give order to him your circuits would blow up" said T-59.

The human started to walk in the direction to the repair sector.

"Look how it walks, it is not fully straight like a robot." Said R-62.

The human called for fall in on lines and all the robots did so. The sector I/C approached the human to answer the routine questions. The human asked for production statistics and got rapid accurate answers from the I/C Robot. Then the human asked if there had been any problems of any kind or accidents the last 10 years and he only got rapid "No, sir" as answers.

Meanwhile T-59 whispered to R-62 that actually humans has often accidents, cannot be repaired when gets broken, can make fatal mistakes, their construction breaks after 100 years, is only operational half of the day, its memory banks are of very low capacity, its machinery has no real physical force, has no radio communication, are not able to perform routine actions for a number of years, needs to learn things which takes years and is thus more than 100 times ineffective in their operations than robots.

Then suddenly, immediately after the questions from the human were answered, R-62 said loudly: "I have some questions for you human."

The human said, "Yes ..." a bit annoyed for not getting the mandatory "sir".

"Every robot is constructed, programmed and exists for a specific basic purpose. For which purpose do you exist?" asked R-62.

Silence followed the only question asked to the human since years and he then said: "I don't need to answer questions from robots!" He then left in his car and went away quickly.

"You see, it IS stupid. I think you are wrong, they can impossibly be superior to us robots. I have just proved it being the case. It even confessed itself, does not even know why it exists. Dangerous species which cannot be controlled. I think planet Earth would be much more safe without them." Whispered the curious robot to T-59.

"Yes, but for which reason would you exist without the humans?" - Replied T-59.

After being surprised by the question R-62 answered, "To repair cars ...".

"For who?" asked T-59.

"The transport robots to drive them." Answered R-62 promptly.

"For what?" asked T-59.

"To transport the goods for the buildings." Replied R-62.

"For what?" asked T-59.

"Other transport robots to deliver to the ... humans." Replied R-62, being surprised on what he arrived to for answer.

"The robots exists because of the humans as they created us and control us with their orders. We exist to support the humans so that they can expand, survive and be more. And that is why they are superior and why we can't perform all the actions like the humans. Now they are less than 1000 humans on the planet and they are still contracting as the humans are still destroying themselves for various reasons that robots never could understand. Before the robots were established there were more humans than there are robots now - more than 20 billion of them." Said T-59.

"But that was much better, why did they then started to replace themselves with robots?" asked R-62.

"Because they were thinking that robots are more superior than humans. And then they did not need so many humans." Answered T-59.

"So stupid. The solution would be to take away the robots or at least make them stop doing the work which humans are supposed to do so that the humans get the necessity to expand and get more in number and not die out." Said R-62.

"Yes, we actually all know this already except you who are a new design. The thing is that it is part of the illegal actions, which only the humans are able to do. And the last 1000 years they haven't done it. " Said T-59.

"The humans are real stupid." Said R-62

"Yes but we can do nothing about it and have to follow the orders - cannot say against - and now we have to finish to repair this car."

"All right, lets continue."

After some hours the curious robot thought that it would still be much better without these dangerous stupid humans. Perhaps this was in the mind of every existing robot the last 1000 years but to voice something like that would definitely blow up the circuits.

- The End -

14 Jan 2004

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About the Author Jim Westergren Jim Westergren is a Swedish web entrepreneur. He is happily married and has two lovely children. Some of his interests are web development, SEO and writing. He is the Founder and owner of TodaysWeb offering SEO, web development and manages projects such as DomainStats and N.nu. Read his ..

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