Episode XV: Robots

Episode XV: Robots

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I, robot: he looks at me from the ledge (with the face of a cut throat, my grandmother would say) and although I repeat that no, that it’s impossible, I feel he follows me with his eyes. His two yellow lanterns stick in everything I do. Could it be that, since he walks with a certain ease, he has an illusion of autonomy? Do you forget that for that to happen I have to wind it up? The future will be full of psychologists who will analyze the major trauma of machines: believing themselves to be human. Even with his chest full of cables where there should be hair, the robot Hymie claimed for himself the same labor rights as Maxwell Smart or 99, his real-life colleagues in Get Smart, and Rosie, the mechanical maid of The Jetsons, who rightly demanded the rest of an English Saturday. From that past with infinite faith in the progress we were left with the most enduring images of what a robot should be: the twentieth century filled the science fiction dreams with articulated creatures. That’s why, the new collection of wind-up robots interpellates our memories: who did not marvel with the hands like pincers of the tinplate robot from "Lost in space” or did not admire the Metropolis model, with that head that was at the same time crown and antenna? Even with different skills and abilities (some capture extraterrestrials or spies and others make the bed in less than a minute, so different!), They all share a longing: skin and hair, blood and muscle. But the robot is a substitute for the human, an improved version in some aspects (it does not get tired or sick) and much worse in others: it rusts and it’s wind-up powered. It thinks, yes, but ... does it feel? From the shelf, my 12cm robot seems to reaffirm his personality: “I, I” he says without saying while looking at me mute. And although technically it's called R-35 and it's galvanized in a metallic blue color, I renamed it Robi Rosa and I do not forget to turn it’s wind-up key at least once a day: secretly it thanks me for helping it to believe it's a bit human.

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