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Author Topic: Robot's Social Standing  (Read 564 times)
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EddieTheEditor

Crustacean
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« on: 04-08-2004 00:17 »

How are robots viewed in the Futurama universe? Are they property or citizens?

In LOTE, Flexo readily joins PE. If he was property, I have a hard time beieving his owner would let him join a delivery company and spend the majority of his time working there or with the employees.

Likewise, in BITW, when Bender's hydraulics(sp) are ruined, the Prof. has no problems tossing him out to the curb. The Dr. even suggests it! (Another good point is raised here: if robots are property, why are there Dr.s that treat them?) Later, several cartfulls of broken robots are ground into paper weights. Wouldn't the law step in if they were citizens?

And if they AREN'T citizens, why do they have aslyums and Car Dealers and such? How could they leave thier owners and join the army? Why would the Countess from AFTR (apparently) be held so high in society? How could Bender be fired (WITHW), yet the Prof. porudly claims that "He owns him"?
Action Jacktion

Professor
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« Reply #1 on: 04-08-2004 01:14 »

They never really explain it.  In "A Head in the Polls," no one cares about the trapped robots in the mine, but in the same episode we see that robots can vote.  And in "Obsoletely Fabulous" the Professor actually does buy a robot.

A few times in the DVD commentaries they ask where exactly the robots come from, and why someone would build some of the kinds of robots we see.
M0le

Space Pope
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« Reply #2 on: 04-08-2004 01:42 »

In the 'Bend Her' commentary they briefly debate why someone would build children robots and criminal robots.
It seems that robots are citizens, but when they become obsolete citizens, they are dismantled, and part of their programming forces them to let it happen. Maybe some of them with programming errors (Roberto, Bender, Santa) rebel and go renegade rather than let themselves be destroyed.
Nixorbo

UberMod
DOOP Secretary
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« Reply #3 on: 04-08-2004 01:43 »

Kinda like the Sunset Squad that way.
Ranadok

Starship Captain
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« Reply #4 on: 04-08-2004 02:27 »
« Last Edit on: 04-08-2004 02:27 »

 
Quote
Originally posted by M0le:
It seems that robots are citizens, but when they become obsolete citizens, they are dismantled, and part of their programming forces them to let it happen. Maybe some of them with programming errors (Roberto, Bender, Santa) rebel and go renegade rather than let themselves be destroyed.

Aren't the robots that were being dismantled horribly damaged, though, not obsolete (the only place I can think of is BITW)?  That would suggest to me that robots are citizens, but get abandoned if it would cost too much to repair/free them, likely the point at which it would be cheaper to get a whole new robot to do the same job.  The job of the doctors would be to diagnose what robots would be cheap/cost effective to fix (which is why Bender could not just get a new body in BITW, but could get new legs in HIOR), and it is up to the owner (something legally similar to executor of the robots estate, by my figuring) to dispose of the robot.
 
Even though the robot is still a citizen, they could still be called "owned" by a person, especially if some people (in the early days of robots entering society) objected to them being at the same level as humans. In that case, the government would have made a new legal distinction whereby robots were technically "owned" by someone (likely their employer, but not necessarily always, such as Malfunctioning Eddie), but can still vote, and own business, etc.

  The question here is why the robot asylums exist. Why bother trying to cure a robot instead of repairing it? My guess is that the facility is fairly cheap to run, as it is completely populated by robots with the only resources used being oil and electricity, so it is figured more cost effective to try and re-program the robots, compared with the materials needed to make a new one.

(I feel like I had something else to add, but I can't remember... I'll put it in if I do.)

-Edited for clarity
nerdlingus

Professor
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« Reply #5 on: 04-08-2004 03:21 »

Its a prelude to the Matrix init.

They'll all take over one day. (as seen in the Animatrix)  tongue
feralHuman

Bending Unit
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« Reply #6 on: 04-08-2004 10:02 »

The robot asylum is for ones with corrupt software. Those recycled were probably beyond physical repair or maybe needed spare parts out of production. Perhaps every robot is programmed to accept recycling as an end so they sort of accept their fates and go willingly in the end.

As for robot "ownership", it's a lot like human employment, aka "slavery" for a pitance of a salary.

At the end of service life, the robot is recycled into paper-weights/beer cans, people are handed over to the Soylent Food & Bev. Co...
John C
Starship Captain
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« Reply #7 on: 04-08-2004 10:49 »

Damaged robots being torn up may be the equivilant of robot donor cards.

I don't think anyone actually "owns" robots. Perhaps the Professor and the doctor were just old fashioned.

 
Quote
Originally posted by Action Jacktion:
They never really explain it. In "A Head in the Polls," no one cares about the trapped robots in the mine, but in the same episode we see that robots can vote. And in "Obsoletely Fabulous" the Professor actually does buy a robot.

This is a tough one. I assume robot 1X was more of a mindless robot, designed to simply keep up with the household chores. Perhaps Bender feels obsolete compared to him because he can't bend things as well as 1X performs his job.
Nasty Pasty

DOOP Secretary
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« Reply #8 on: 04-08-2004 12:15 »

i think that they are somewhat considered lower in future society, but not TOO low. they do have most of the same rights as humans, but are still treated like property.
Spacedal11

Space Pope
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« Reply #9 on: 04-08-2004 16:04 »

I think it's a draw. Most are used for jobs but some don't do a damn thing.
Strit

Crustacean
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« Reply #10 on: 04-09-2004 04:08 »

I agree with Nasty.

They do everyday jobs, like humans, they even do nothing, like humans. So they are basicly humans, but when it comes to human against robot, the human has the most rights.
Bay

Crustacean
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« Reply #11 on: 04-09-2004 07:23 »

 
Quote
Originally posted by EddieTheEditor:
Likewise, in BITW, when Bender's hydraulics(sp) are ruined, the Prof. has no problems tossing him out to the curb. The Dr. even suggests it! (Another good point is raised here: if robots are property, why are there Dr.s that treat them?) Later, several cartfulls of broken robots are ground into paper weights. Wouldn't the law step in if they were citizens?



A little off topic, but Bender demonstrated how little he actually needed his body in the first season when driving around in his little head car (It's the episode when Nixon gets elected but I've forgotten the title...sorry). Why couldn't he do that again?

Oh yeh...the plot. BITW is one of my favorite episodes.

On topic a little more, I don't think robots are seen as posessions. In SP3K, Bender was found in line for a suicide booth-nobody owned him. He worked at a factory and, as we later found out, he had his own accomodation in a specific robot shelter.
Iron Chef
Bending Unit
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« Reply #12 on: 04-09-2004 12:34 »

In 30% Iron Chef and in BITW the Professor does refer to Bender in terms of ownership.
I think the robots are citizens but do have some form of limited rights.
Hedonism Bot

Bending Unit
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« Reply #13 on: 04-11-2004 10:27 »

 
Quote
Originally posted by Action Jacktion:
They never really explain it.  In "A Head in the Polls," no one cares about the trapped robots in the mine, but in the same episode we see that robots can vote.

Maybe the trapped robots were just primitive robots without personalities. It doesn't make much sense to spend all that time creating robots as advanced as Bender if they aren't going to be seen by anybody. The robots with personalities are to make people feel more comfortable working with them, as they have flaws and quirks just like humans. The problem with giving them personalities is that they will sooner or later want rights, so they were given the right to vote to shut them up. They've also got religion to keep them in check, as well as the less godly distractions of hookerbots and booze.

As an aside, Hedonism Bot was built using the taxpayers' money, according to the original script of TDHAIP. Any idea what his purpose is?

Oh sure, blame the wizards...
Ranadok

Starship Captain
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« Reply #14 on: 04-11-2004 12:12 »

To comission operas!
Teral

Helpy McHelphelp
DOOP Secretary
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« Reply #15 on: 04-11-2004 21:10 »

 
Quote
Originally posted by EddieTheEditor:
Likewise, in BITW, when Bender's hydraulics(sp) are ruined, the Prof. has no problems tossing him out to the curb. The Dr. even suggests it!

That's probably the same as firing a disabled employee. Cruel, yes. Inhuman, absolutely. In character for Farnsworth, oh my yes! The doctor told Farnsworth Bender was broken, and wouldn't be able to take care of whatever it was he took care of at Planet Express, and the only real solution was to replace him. So Farnsworth fires him. The "toss him out" part was probably just to keep him from using PE medical insurance.

 
Quote
yet the Prof. porudly claims that "He owns him"?
Remember Farnsworth use to send delivery crews to their deaths without hesitation, he's probably come to the point where he view all employees as just another Planet Express resource (and by extension his property), that he can use as he find best.

The status of robots most likely depend on the sophistication of their programming. Simple household robots like 1X and the cleaning robot at the blernsball stadium in "Fear Of A Bot-planet" are property, since their programming only alow them to do simple tasks, and not make decisions on their own. Robots like Bender, Flexo and Calculon have sentient thought and as such is recognized as citizens, complete with the right to vote, pay taxes and enroll in the army.
german fry

Crustacean
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« Reply #16 on: 04-12-2004 01:44 »

the robots are slaves. 
at least some robots have a free will and they can disobey their master. They do not depend on humans, cause there are robots without a owner. these robots are free.
people own them like animals. you treat your animal or robot good, it will stick around with you and do work, otherwise it runs away.
you can also dispose your pet at any time.
VoVat

Bending Unit
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« Reply #17 on: 04-14-2004 22:13 »

I would imagine that, if a robot is rich enough (Calculon, Uncle Vladimir, the Countess), they can do pretty much whatever they want.
EvilLunch

Professor
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« Reply #18 on: 04-16-2004 18:32 »

Which brings up the question of how does a robot get rich? Sure, Bender can steal, and some Robots get paid well for their labor, but I find it hard to believe a Robot, however rich, is regarded the same way a rich human is.
Ranadok

Starship Captain
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« Reply #19 on: 04-16-2004 21:36 »

Money is power... some people don't discriminate.
M0le

Space Pope
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« Reply #20 on: 04-16-2004 22:14 »

Well, Uncle Vladimir was in what looked like a robot-only town, with the exception of 'You there', so it's not too hard to believe he could get rich just by being better designed or something.
Calculon, that's tricky. We know he built himself up over 1000 years, and he was all of histories best robot actors. Maybe all of those salaries eventually added up?
Maybe the Countess was the servant of an incredibly rich human, who wanted all of their servants to look like royalty. That would explain why the jewelry was fake.
Alliteration

Starship Captain
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« Reply #21 on: 04-17-2004 00:35 »

Good thoughts MOle, but what about Hedonism Bot, he could finance whole operas. Thats not just chump change.
Hedonism Bot

Bending Unit
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« Reply #22 on: 04-17-2004 04:24 »

Hedonism Bot had government backing. Maybe he was employed as Minister for the Arts or something.
Alliteration

Starship Captain
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« Reply #23 on: 04-17-2004 22:17 »

But that is a position of importance. Is it not.

...wait, what position are you taking exactly?
EvilLunch

Professor
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« Reply #24 on: 04-17-2004 23:47 »

He IS pretty much an emperor, though.
Alliteration

Starship Captain
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« Reply #25 on: 04-18-2004 00:19 »

Yea, he has servants who spread chocolate icing all over his body. That has got to equal power.
EddieTheEditor

Crustacean
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« Reply #26 on: 04-18-2004 00:57 »

 
Quote
Originally posted by Teral:
The status of robots most likely depend on the sophistication of their programming. Simple household robots like 1X and the cleaning robot at the blernsball stadium in "Fear Of A Bot-planet" are property, since their programming only alow them to do simple tasks, and not make decisions on their own. Robots like Bender, Flexo and Calculon have sentient thought and as such is recognized as citizens, complete with the right to vote, pay taxes and enroll in the army.


That, in my opinion, makes the most sense.
EvilLunch

Professor
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« Reply #27 on: 04-20-2004 18:17 »

Very sensible indeed. Hedonism-Bot's programming must be so advanced that he can rule. I'd follow him.. He's a jolly and benevolent fellow! After all, he cavorts like the Greeks of.. Oh, you know what I'm sayin'.
Spacedal11

Space Pope
****
« Reply #28 on: 04-22-2004 10:03 »

In my oppoion, -this is for Bender- if robots can't work they should just sit in front of the T.V. and drink. Either that or *shudders* have a...religion. Church sucks. Not offending anyone who is religious.  no no
Alliteration

Starship Captain
****
« Reply #29 on: 04-22-2004 22:15 »

Why can't you just join a mainstream religion, like Oprahism or Voodo?
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