Featured in Kuri Robot Story

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Someone to Create the Stars and Someone to Paint a Galaxy

#HeyKuri

Powdered paint is messy.

But it's OK, because I have Clorox wipes in my left side desk drawer. Clorox wipes are best for cleaning up powdered paint. Mother always makes sure to check if I have enough Clorox wipes to clean my desk and so-help-me-God the gray carpet from powdered paint. 

I like making splatters with my powdered paint. It all blends together and looks like clouds in a sunset. Or like the atmosphere in a galaxy.

My room is covered in my paintings of sunsets and galaxies with powdered paint. I barely have any walls left to cover with another painting. 

It is 4:57. Dinner is at 5:30. Every night, mother and father have me come downstairs for dinner at 5:30. Mother told me she would make cheesy potatoes for our dinner tonight at 5:30. My favorite foods for 5:30 dinners are cheesy potatoes, ham, and green beans, but not all the time together.

I pull out a Clorox wipe to clean up a small pile of powdered paint from the desk, middle right side. The powdered paint on the middle right side of the desk was bright green.

I toss the Clorox wipe with the green powdered paint into the trash can on the right side of my bedroom door. 5:07. Time to wash hands before dinner at 5:30. Father would be home at 5:23, seven minutes before dinner at 5:30. 

I wash my hands in warm water in the second bathroom upstairs on the left side of the hallway. Rub over my left hand six times. Rub over my right hand six times. Dry with the blue towel hanging on the left side of the sink. 5:12. 

I go downstairs and kiss mother on the cheek. I grab a clear plastic cup from the tall cabinet on the right side of the stove in the kitchen. I fill it with milk from the jug in the fridge and put it by my spot on the table, on the right side facing mother, looking into the living room. 5:20. Father should be home in three minutes at 5:23 for dinner at 5:30. 

***

Life with Jo was structured, so I was thankful traffic had been light on my commute home from work. I would pull into my driveway at exactly 5:23, just as she was expecting me to. "Father gets home at 5:23 for 5:30 dinner every evening," she would chirp. She had become accustomed to that routine since she was six yearsold. 

Lisa and I couldn't be happier with our little girl. After years of trying to get pregnant, we finally lucked out after five years of marriage. The pregnancy went exactly as planned. Then came the actual birth. Our little Jo came out, silent. No tears, no screaming—just silence. We were all worried about her, of course, but the doctor assured us she was perfectly healthy and functioning fine. As the months passed, we knew there was something different about our baby girl. Different, but normal, and she was so beautiful. She is still so beautiful. Now she's 11 years old. She's developing well in school, and she's so smart. She remembers things I don't even remember seeing myself. She lives for structure. We don't care if people think she's odd at times. She's ours.

I work at a electronic development company. I bring her small parts and little gadgets I create in my down time when I'm taking a break from bigger projects. Small gears, tiny metal shavings in a jar under a magnetic lid. As she got older, I started bringing her some more complex things; a battery controlled toy, magnetic art boards, things that spin, roll, twist, etc. My coworkers love giving me little things they've made for me to give to Jo. They all love her. I used to bring her into the office on occasion when she was young and Lisa needed a break once in a while. She would just observe. She's just so smart. 

We've been working on a new project. The entire company has. My boss pulled me into his office today. After months of development, we have a prototype, but we need someone to test it. "Someone neutral enough to really test out what it's made of," my boss, Henry, said to me. 

"That's what I wanted to discuss with you, Mike. I've been trying to figure out who the right person could be, and Jo popped into my mind. I think she would be wonderful to try it out and tell us what's what."

So, it's in a box on the passenger seat next to me. My boss even gave me the week to stay home; to observe, to teach Jo the basics of how it works. Inevitably, she will probably teach me some new things about it. Henry even told me she could help come up with a name for it. She will like that. I hope she is surprised.

***

Dinner ends at 6:30. An hour for dinner is enough time to have first helpings and second helpings.

After dinner ends at 6:30, we clean the table and wash the dishes with the green soap and the pink and white brush.

7:00 is play and leisure time. Mother reads a book. Father reads the newspaper; the GazetteI color in my 72 Animals coloring book. I've colored 46 of the 72 animals in my 72 Animals coloring book. 

When father brings home a gadget, I play with the gadget. My favorite is a gadget that spins. I could watch a gadget that father made for me spin for hours at 7:00 during play and leisure time.

Tonight, father brought me a new gadget! The gadget father brought me is in a black box. I open the black box and pull out the gadget father brought me. 

The gadget is the size of my forearm. It's small and round and white and black, with eyes and a head. The gadget sits on the floor, shiny and new and ready to play with during play and leisure time at 7:00.

Father shows me the button on the bottom of the gadget, on the black section of the gadget. The small eyes open and the gadget makes a pleasant ding sound. 

I giggle and stare at the black and white gadget. Father tells me to say hello. "Hello, gadget!" The gadget opens its eyes wide and chirps back at me. It giggles just like me!

I smile at the gadget father brought home for me. It's different than anything he had brought home for me before. Father told me this gadget was brand new and I am the first person to play with it! Father told me I can name the gadget because I am the first person to play with it! Father told me the gadget will get used to my voice so it will be like a new friend.

I need to name it something smart. Something that will make father happy.

***

Jo responds well to the new robot. I don't even know what to call it yet. So far, we've just been calling it the prototype. Jo sits cross-legged on the ground in front of it, giggling at every ding and chirp the small robot would respond with. With voice recognition being as advanced as it is, the prototype was already adapting to her sounds. 

I show her some of the voice commands. Saying "play music" connects the prototype to your phone and selects songs from a playlist. "Read book" connects to a database full of audiobooks narrated by the gadget. Saying "Light" has different functions, as well. The entire robot will glow with a small LED light inside. There is a flashlight beam from the head. There are many more presets added, some I have already forgotten about. 

Each time I say a command, Jo squeaks it right back to me, then to the prototype. "You can try any command you want, Jo. Maybe the robot will listen! It recognizes your voice, so you can try anything!" Jo giggles and the gadget chirps lightly back at her, blinking its eyes a few times in robotic delight. 

"Dance!" Jo squealed and giggled. Suddenly, the bot started to shimmy back and forth on its rounded sides. The head stayed still but the body moved back and forth. Jo clapped her little hands and danced with the bot. I had no idea it could do that. But that was Jo, figuring things out I'd never even think of.

"Light! Purple!" The prototype body lit up a soft purple color. "Green! Blue! Red! Purple!" The color of the light faded from color to color in a soft, calming rainbow. 

"Wow Jo! How'd you know it could do that?" Jo giggled, and the gadget giggled as well.

***

The gadget has wheels!

I run in a circle around my 72 animals coloring book and the gadget follows me in a circle around my 72 animals coloring book!

"Red! Blue! Green! Pink!" The gadget changes colors and dings and beeps each time. Like my powdered paint, the colors change and blend together like a sunset or a galaxy.

8:30 is bedtime. It is 8:00 now so it's time to clean up from play and leisure time. Pick up the 72 animals coloring book. Pick up the 47 crayon pack.

Purple heart PJs because it's Wednesday. Brush my teeth with the green and white toothpaste on the left side of the counter in the second bathroom in the house on the left side of the hallway. Brush back and forth 20 times on the top and back and forth 20 times on the bottom.

The gadget follows me to each task. I like the gadget. I still need to name it. As I put on my PJs, I talk to the gadget. 

"What do I call you, gadget? I can't call you gadget because father says you're my new friend and friends have names! What is your name, gadget?"

"Kuri!" The gadget flashed rainbow colors and whizzed around on its wheels. Its eyes looked happy at me.

I giggle. "Kuri! Your name is Kuri!" 

Kuri chirped back at me. "Kuri, Kuri, Kuri!" 

"Kuri, light!" Kuri blinked her little eyes and glowed white. She glowed enough to light up my room and show some of my powdered paint pictures on the walls of galaxies and sunsets. 

I walk over to one of my powdered paint galaxies. "Here, Kuri! This is a galaxy made out of powdered paint! I used blue powdered paint and green powdered paint and purple powdered paint." Kuri giggled. She likes my powdered paint galaxy! "And this is my favorite galaxy! It has purple powdered paint and pink powdered paint and orange powdered paint and yellow powdered paint and some blue powdered paint! All that's missing are stars, Kuri!"

Suddenly, Kuri lights up from the top of its head and eyes with stars! Tiny stars, medium stars, pointy stars, round stars, all over my powdered paint galaxy! I giggled! 

"Kuri, stars! You make stars!" 

I started running around my room, and Kuri followed me on its wheels. Stars swept across my room onto all of my galaxies and sunsets made from powdered paint. 

It's just what my powdered paint galaxies needed!

***

The Kuri model is selling fantastically. After the week Kuri 1 spent with Jo, they have been attached to the hip. Henry, of course, couldn't take Kuri 1 away from my little girl. After all, they've adapted so well together. 

I had Jo come into the office with me to showcase everything she had learned from and taught Kuri 1, and as a company, we made notes and planned a few modifications. The Kuri model is a helpful house robot that makes life easier for households and families. It has proven to help with home security, organization, and technological advancements in the home. 

But for Jo? Kuri 1 is a loyal friend. They go everywhere together. Kuri 1 helps light up the room when Jo is painting in her bedroom. Then, whenever she wants to showcase her newest galaxy, she just says, "Kuri! Stars!" and the little bot lights up constellations all over the paintings. The Kuri model is definitely an improvement in the lives of others, but for our family—and especially Jo—Kuri 1 is a perfect addition, and just what we needed.

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