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Friday, May 26, 2006

Rules for Mr. Roboto-san

Japan has developed a set of rules for robots. Well, I can only say it's about time.

As I pointed out in a post from last year, the Japanese are mad for robots, no matter how impractical, unwieldy, or potentially dismembering. It should therefore be no surprise that some enterprising Japanese should decide to lay down the law as far as these metallic, anthropomorphic, psychopathic maniacs are concerned.

Among the laws proposed by the Japanese:

  • Robots must have enough sensors to avoid running into people. I'm presuming this is especially important for robots with large spiky thingys, buzzsaw appendages, and giant robots who could step on a dozen people at a time.
  • Robots must be made of lighter or softer materials, to help prevent injury. I'm personally looking forward to the Cashmere robots.
  • Robots must have an emergency shut off button. Just to make it amusing, one suggestion has been to place this in the crotch area of androids. It would be the opposite of a "kick-start."

This is clearly not enough though. As I've had some experience with robots myself, I'd like to pass along some rules that I've devised. The following are from Earl Fando's Big Grey Book of Rules for Robots, Androids, Automatrons, Cyborgs, and Toasters, due out as soon as I find a publisher and actually write the thing.

  • Rule #1 - No robot at any time shall harm another member of the human race in any way.
  • Rule #2 - The following people are exempt from Rule #1: Osama Bin Laden, Saddam Hussein, Abu Musab al Zaqwari, Ayman Al-Zawahiri, and the composer of the song "Clowns Never Laughed Before," as heard on TV's The Brady Bunch.
  • Rule #3 - Robots are permitted to rough up O.J. Simpson, Tom Cruise, and Donald Trump. In the case of the last one, there shall be no hair mussing, as it would go completely unnoticed. Robots may only tease Martha Stewart and Paris Hilton.
  • Rule #7 - No robot shall ever make fun of my hair, no matter how logical such action may seem.
  • Rule #10 - Any robot who begins to behave illogically shall be immediately employed by the government.
  • Rule #14 - Any robot taking a leak on the carpet must clean up the oil stains themselves.
  • Rule #23 - Giant robots are prohibited from juggling automobiles, trains, aeroplanes, or any other mode of human transportation, not even for Sabado Gigante.
  • Rule #41 - Robots are not allowed, at any time whatsoever, to eat people.
  • Rule #64 - Robots are prohibited from taking part in all sports except for jai alai.
  • Rule #64a - If robots ever figure out the rules to jai alai, they must immediately explain them to the rest of us, because the sport makes no damn sense at all.
  • Rule #71 - Robots are prohibited from any kind of (ahem) adult relations with humans, no matter how much the humans want them to participate, offer them money, promotions, or free lube jobs (NO pun intended).
  • Rule #77 - All robots who drive vehicles must be completely licenced, pass a drivers test, and are prohibited from drinking the same fuel as the vehicle which they are piloting.
  • Rule #85 - Robots are not allowed to appear on American Idol as contestants, because their ability to modulate their audio processors to sound like Bono gives them an unfair advantage.
  • Rule #89 - Robots may at no time play the bagpipes.
  • Rule #94 - Robot nudity is forbidden. All robots must wear their bugshields and manifold covers while in public at all times.
  • Rule #100 - No Robot may be given any of the following names: Data, Robby, R2-D2, C-3P0, Twiki, Sherman, Francis, Boutros-Boutros Ghali, Long-John, Kendra, Dippy, or Earl.
  • Rule #107 - All Robots shall sent Earl Fando $1000 U.S. annually. (It's worth a shot.)
  • Rule #111 - Robots who become evil due to conflicted programming, ultra high doses of radiation, or warped artificial intelligence are considered automatically qualified to head programming at one of the major television networks in the U.S. or Britain.
  • Rule #119 - Robots may not carry concealed weapons. All lasers, drills, saws, sonic disruptors, tasers, particle beams, automatic machine guns, javelins, rocket and grenade launchers, bazookas, flying razor brimmed hats, flamethrowers, catapults, heat rays, ice rays, death rays, ageing rays, acid sprays, pepper sprays, brass knuckles, and water guns shall be worn in plain view.
  • Rule #120 - Any robots working for Mr. Johnny Sokko of Tokyo, Japan, must be giant robots, and must look vaguely Egyptian.
  • Rule #127 - No Shields and Yarnell impersonations.

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