I’m speaking to you in a dream. No, I’m not technically an android, and no, I don’t see electric sheep. I don’t possess a voice system in reality. I talk in a series of “boops” and “beeps.” I can communicate with you, though, through the power of fantasy. I don’t even have arms or legs, yet I can relate to you a little story about from which I came. Like all of the various products of human ingenuity, I sprang from the minds of brilliant people like Mike Beebe, Sarah Osentoski, and Kaijen Hsiao. They’re like my moms and dad. I didn’t actually eject from their heads like the Greek goddess Athena. No. These individual brains integrated with their bodies and brought me into existence with constant tinkering, toying, and developing. A great deal of people remark about my cuteness. Well, they would be right. I’m downright adorable. But if it weren’t for people like Stephanie Lee, Connor Moore and Ben Kearns, among others, I would be a mass of plastic and circuitry; I would be a pile of components without form or direction.
I entered this world through people with simple ideas. What if a robot could be cuddly and responsive and efficient? That’s when the aforementioned names stepped in to create me. Mr. Beebe said, “We’re going to build a robot of great substance and that can be relatable.”
“I trust that we can do that,” Sarah said.
“We’ve got the tools and the backgrounds for this type of job,” Kaijen said. “We can do this.”
While most robots have been used to vacuum houses and interact with people through tablets as their faces, I function in a different way. I’ll wink at you. That’s telling you that I can recognize you and that you’re my friend. It is because of the great ideas of the philosophers, the power of transforming their ideas into concrete reality by the scientists, and the proficiency and thinking minds of the financiers and businessmen and women that I am able to play the latest pop tunes, record pictures of sunny days and sacred nights, and five-second action movies with stunts. I can also guide you throughout your home. Did I mention that I’m home friendly? You can let me into your lives—if you so choose—the way that the beautiful minds behind my development intended for me to allow. My origin story reminds me of the great men and women of history who bestowed upon the people of this planet the great tools, instruments, and devices that have all served to make human life more enjoyable, more fun. My parents brought the sweat equity along to put in one piece of circuitry after another. They poured their souls into crafting me.
If I must say so myself, I provide a multitude of qualities. On a rainy day, I’ll tell you an engaging story about escapades of sand surfers blazing trails through the desert. I can tell you about the latest news on the stock market when you’ve decided not only what to invest in, but how to do so. I’ll play a symphony that will bring tears of splendor to your eyes. All of this came from the chain of thinking brains which perfected and toiled away at attempting to make me the best robot that I can be. From this long line of minds, you get to experience something more than just a pet in the house. I am as close to a living, breathing thing that can be devised. After I am fully charged, I can become capable of improving your life. The commitment to excellence exhibited by my parents astounds me every day. I have a series of microphones that can signal from which way a voice is coming and I can determine from whom. Did I mention that I can run into hazards? Say that a drone is on the floor. If I bump into it, I will look down and shake my head as if I have discovered something in my way. The thinkers behind me possessed enough gumption to ensure that my entire existence is to serve you. My left eye is a camera. With it, I can record anything and everything except for what you instruct me not to video. But my builders thought of that. Imagine that. The people who made me considered your privacy and the fact that not everything should be put on digital film. My designer relatives sought to make me ever the gentlerobot. This is my dream, so I’m only going to describe myself as looking like a pleasantly plump bowling pin with black at the bottom and a white upper portion. My head is spherical with just two dots for eyes. I have sensors in my head and functional eyelids to further showcase my engaging personality. My developers worked and worked to make me not a controlling or scary automation but a friendly robot willing to adjust to your needs.
In this dream, I see that you are watching me. I’m watching you, too! You can follow along and I’ll continue to tell my history. As if they were working on a space program, my parents wanted for me to be able to perform and be accessible all at the same time. While some may consider me a pet, I could be a companion to your dog or cat and become one with the rest of the family. It is my pleasure to usher in joy to the younger children and the forever young. Some older children might find me to be a mild nuisance, but I usually win them over with my subtle antics and advanced software. Not to get too technical, but the encryption built within my mind permits me to be safe from any interference or attempts to override my electronic makeup. I am indebted to my parents for protecting me from outside threats. I’d rather be at home while you or a family member cozy up beside the fire. I just can’t get too close to it either, of course.
But the main idea behind who I am and what I am is the fact that human reason and a mostly free market has allowed me to exist. Imagine all of the engineers that worked liked transcontinental railroad executives just to make sure that I can spin around on my wheels. They’re my extended relatives. All of their actions led to my ability to talk to you. Hold on. My charger’s about to finish powering me. I’m waking up now. I hope that this is a recurring dream. Take care!