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Author Topic: Robot Duplicates  (Read 1371 times)
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PEE Poll: Do you think duplicate robots have been shown on the show without specific reference to them?
Yes
No
What is this about? My brain stroked off there for a second.

futurefreak

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« on: 12-23-2011 10:40 »
« Last Edit on: 12-23-2011 10:42 »

So I posted this in the Ghost in the Machines review thread and the replies got me thinking:

Quote from: futurefreak
I just noticed that the robot smashed by the globe in this episode (the concession stand robot) was also destroyed by Clamps in Silence of the Clamps six episodes earlier.

Do you think that was intentional, or a continuity error? Do you think we see duplicates of the same robots on the show (besides Bender)? And remember, even though we may presume duplicates exist, it doesn't mean we have seen them on air.

For example, have we seen two HedonismBots, or two Tinny Tims? Or is it always the same model?

Thoughts?
totalnerduk

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« Reply #1 on: 12-23-2011 10:54 »

Some robots have been destroyed, and then we've seen "them" in later episodes. We know that there are bending units besides Bender (Flexo, Billy West) and we know that some robots are custom models that are one-of-a-kind. We've seen various robots as mass-produced units (Hell's Army, citizens of Chapek 9) and we've seen some robots have off-the-shelf spares (Bender).

We know that there is only one Destructor, but we also know that there are loads of Robot 1-X's, Benders, and potentially a new body for each robot that we have seen destroyed as well. It wouldn't be unreasonable to suppose that any time we've seen a robot (be it mass produced or custom) "die" they've been downloaded into a backup and the next unit we see is in fact that original robot's "conciousness" in a new body.

It would also be logical to assume that it might not be, and we're seeing a different robot of the same model.
spira

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« Reply #2 on: 12-23-2011 17:53 »

I'd assumed they'd been downloaded into a new chassis when they got destroyed. I don't think we've seen multiple Hedonism Bots or Tinny Tims, though it is possible that, say, Hedonism Bot got a new body after his was damaged in the bachelor party in TLPJF.
futurefreak

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« Reply #3 on: 12-23-2011 21:07 »
« Last Edit on: 12-23-2011 21:10 »

We know Mom's Friendly Robot Compony makes bots in huge batches - who is making the Tinny Tims? Who is making that Puerto Rican transsexual bot (can't think of the name right now)? You think they are one of a kind? From what I am hearing there may be multiples if their brain is downloaded, but what about the molds. Where are these robot molds coming from?

Very insightful points, tnuk and spira.
Inquisitor Hein
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« Reply #4 on: 12-23-2011 23:08 »

Who is making that Puerto Rican transsexual bot (can't think of the name right now)?

Hermaphrobot
totalnerduk

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« Reply #5 on: 12-24-2011 01:52 »

Where are these robot molds coming from?

I think that it's safe to assume Hermaphrobot and HedonismBot are unique, custom models like Santa Claus and The Crushinator. They'll be expensive and the tooling for their production is probably a limited-run prototyping setup.

Tinny Tim is probably a generic. We know that at least one Tinny Tim has been destroyed, and that he's also either been repaired or replaced.

I'd hazard a guess that they're all made by Mom's Friendly Robot Company under license or directly at Momcorp factories. We know she has subsidiaries globally. We know she has a bunch of holdings somewhere offworld. We know that she probably makes robotics and high technology goods like spaceships in places where laws are more relaxed or there is no probability of ethics investigations. She probably has a slave labour planet or asteroid somewhere that's where she churns out generic robot innards, then a more polished "public eye" production line where casings and such are put together. The two will ship to wherever her central distribution facility is, and there the robots will be assembled. It requires a minimum of special tooling to produce custom jobs if all that's changing is the casing and plating of the bot. Destructor probably has the same basic innards as Bender, for example. But he's built bigger, and covered in spikes rather than being plain and utilitarian.

We do know that "generic" robots exist. Blanks into which you can download an appearance and personality. Perhaps these are the template on top of which all robots are designed.
spira

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« Reply #6 on: 12-24-2011 04:09 »

I think that it's safe to assume Hermaphrobot and HedonismBot are unique, custom models like Santa Claus and The Crushinator. They'll be expensive and the tooling for their production is probably a limited-run prototyping setup.

I agree. I've just always wondered how these characters came into existence. We have a backstory for Santa Claus, and I assume the moon farmer purchased Crushinator. But who ordered Hermaphrobot and Hedonism Bot? No human is attached to them and MomCorp doesn't seem like the sort of place that would churn out unique eccentric robots for the fun of it.

Ah, the generics, yeah... maybe whoever decided they wanted a gluttonous robot just bought a blank and designed from there.
coldangel

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« Reply #7 on: 12-24-2011 05:36 »

I've wondered at the existence of robots that don't serve any useful function, like Hedonismbot. Who would have built that? What for?

I suppose you might say that machine sentience might arise on its own within the primordial data-soup of the nets and, having some civil rights, is then allowed to manufacture its own body to specification. It's really the only explanation.

Utility robots that actually serve a function are likely churned off the production line virtually identical.

But that brings up another point that I was wondering at recently - why, considering they're machines designed to fulfil mindless repetitive tasks, are they built with full self-awareness? What's the point of that? We've seen bending units at work and there's no need for them to be self-aware. Just like a lot of the robots we see.

Best I can come up with is that there's some legal technicality resulting from robot rights that insists upon sentience for all automated constructs of a certain level of sophistication in order to prevent abuse, even though a mindless automaton couldn't technically be abused. It's just the sort of silly paradox that would fit right into the Futurama universe.
UnrealLegend

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« Reply #8 on: 12-24-2011 06:36 »

That is an interesting point. I'd imagine it would be rather expensive designing and creating a fully self-aware robot, so it wouldn't make any sense to not mass produce them.

Perhaps they're built by other robots that lack common sense, or maybe in the future it's really easy to program the personality of a robot, and the materials required are cheap enough to not feel the need to mass produce them.

I mean, Calculon is clearly the only one of his kind. He's world famous and has existed since 2019, and seems to have considered upgrading his appearance as nothing major.

Maybe the useless robots (aka, the ones that don't do anything practical, like HedonismBot)  were created only to inflate the Earth's population or something.
coldangel

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« Reply #9 on: 12-24-2011 06:53 »

Or perhaps the base code for robot sentience is freeware and so it's cheaper and easier to just insert a learning, self-aware program, than it is to actually program a computer to perform a task.
UnrealLegend

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« Reply #10 on: 12-24-2011 07:53 »

Perhaps the robot itself is capable of choosing it's own design, and the reason the "civilian" robots even exist is simply to advertise Mom's friendly robot company?

Kinda crazy, but it sounds like the kind of thing she'd do.
futurefreak

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« Reply #11 on: 12-24-2011 09:38 »

Yeah, I have wondered why certain robots exist. I am pretty sure DXC or someone else pointed that out in one of the commentaries during the original run when Tinny Tim was onscreen and asked why thay built a crippled robot like that. Or hobo robots. Who do they belong to? Why do they exist?
totalnerduk

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« Reply #12 on: 12-24-2011 16:01 »

They point it out in the commentary for Mars University that it's ridiculous for Fatbot to exist. Cohen stated that he really likes the idea (might even have been during the same commentary) that certain robots have obviously been designed and built for a useful function whereas others seem to have been put together for no real reason and are basically pointless monstrosities. Groening has said that he likes machines that are complex but serve no real purpose, and the writers have all added bits at some point, chiming in to say that this robot or that robot is their favourite because it's basically something that exists with no actual purpose behind it and is just in the show for fun.

They may "belong" to themselves. If a robot's owner dies, is it free? Can it be willed to itself? Perhaps robots are considered citizens in their own right past a certain age, and therefore their "slavery" to humans ends?

I think that these questions would be good to answer with some of Farnsworth's little speeches. Like "In 2942, when the robots demanded equal rights for pregnant robot hookers..."
jeepdavetj

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« Reply #13 on: 03-10-2012 05:13 »

Think of it this way, there are many many many Honda Civics out there and after day one they drive off the lot they all become a little different. So, even if they started out the same, look the same, and are designed to do the same job they will all have a little different "character".
Mongo

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« Reply #14 on: 07-30-2012 21:56 »

I seem to recall in the commentary for "Bender Gets Made", the question was raised "Who would consider it a good idea to create a Robot Mafia?" regarding Donbot.
futz
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« Reply #15 on: 07-30-2012 22:59 »

I think The Bots and The Bees pretty much answers where a lot of the one-of-a-kind bots come from.
PhoffiFozz
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« Reply #16 on: 04-22-2013 19:17 »

Perhaps the robot itself is capable of choosing it's own design, and the reason the "civilian" robots even exist is simply to advertise Mom's friendly robot company?

Kinda crazy, but it sounds like the kind of thing she'd do.

"Yeah, that explains fruity here, I flipped a coin to decide my finish...  Foghat Gray"
(or whatever the real line is)

I'd say that it sounds like Bender at least decided his own finish.
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