Runaway Robot

Started by Henry McCoy at Apr 06, 2020 1:22 AM
November 18, 2023
279 Views
7 Posts

Henry McCoy

Beast
28
?Years Young
3 Posts

There were numerous long-term projects that Hank McCoy would have running at any one time, including a number that he would return to time and time again. More or less, hobbies, tinkering in other areas of science aside from his main area of focus in genetics, on occasion simply for fun or other times seeking to solve problems. One particularly successful example from the early days had been the creation of the first image inducer, a very handy technology for many of the mansions residents and one which he was justly proud of.

Another such project, as much for fun as for officially being a long-term project in creating a robot with self-learning capability, unofficially a robot pet and going by the name Anima. This was one he had some fond memories looking back on the early days when he'd worked with an able young assistant, one of the students and who became an unofficial lab assistant. He'd just been reminiscing back to those early days when he'd gotten the urge to take out Anima again and do a little tinkering, see if he could make any upgrades to the latest incarnation.

"Yes, a minor adjustment of the servo-motors to improve agility, and a modification to the camera lenses, and how to increase the capacity of the solar batteries?" Hank was musing to himself, rubbing his furry chin with his eyes closed deep in thought, visualising the robots schematics, formulating the desired changes and finally satisfied, glancing over towards the table where he'd set down the robot.

"Hmm, I'm sure I'd put you down right there," Hank blinked and then frowned, recalling a few minutes ago, when he'd been briefly distracted in his train of thought by a bleep, and a series of clattering sounds. Now he thought of it, it was entirely possible that he'd neglected to fully deactivate Anima after initially testing the servo-motors.

"Oh my stars and garters," Hank sighed, gazing towards the laboratory door which hadn't quite been shut and was now ajar, a gap large enough for a robot to have made it through.

There was only one thing for it, head out of the laboratory and see if he could track down the robot, hopefully before any damage was incurred or the robot got itself into difficulty. Following the prime directives of exploring surroundings and finding new situations for its self-learning programs to adapt to, there was no telling where Anima might end up.

**************************************************************

Looking very like a two-foot-long scarab beetle, with a shiny green metallic carapace, Anima scurried along on six nimble legs, cameras running along with other sensory equipment, building up a map of its surroundings as it systematically explored the corridors near the laboratory, with what could be termed eager curiosity.

Detecting the proximity of someone approaching, there was a brief pause as Anima's onboard computer determined whether to evade or approach, coming to the conclusion there was no immediate danger.

With a bleep, Anima scurried forward, camera lenses focused on the individual, as the robot initiated its prime directive, explore and adapt to a new situation, in this case establishing friendly contact.


Anna Marie

Rogue
10
?Years Young
8 Posts

Sometimes the best way to deal with people is to give 'em a taste of their own medicine.


Most gifts, abilities, came with their own ups and downs. Some more obvious than others. Rogue was one of those caught in the middle. At first glance, her powers were seen as “cool”, without any great impact beyond having someone else in your head for a while. It was only with time that others soon realized how great of an impact her powers had on her life. How it turned her skin, the largest organ a human had, into something dangerous. It required her to keep her skin covered. A task easily accomplished in the fall and winter without much notice. In the summer however…it was far more noticeable. Even though summers in the south, where she grew up, were intense. It was still difficult at times for her to manage to have on layers when the temperatures were so high.

Her time of reprieve? Weekday evenings. For one-hour, while students were kept occupied by post-dinner activities, Rouge was given exclusive access to the pool. Where she was free to wear her string bikinis without fear of hurting anyone. She reviled in the time given to her, allowing her to simply be free. To feel the sun and breeze against her skin. She would spend her hour rotating, every 15 minutes, between swimming and tanning. Enjoying the golden glow of the setting sun.

------------------

Rogue was humming as she came in through the patio door, wrapped up in a sarong to minimize her exposed skin. She smiled to herself as she brushed her arm, which was still warm. Her steps through the school were well-rehearsed, having a set pathway free of others between the pool and her room. Allowing her to squeeze in a few more moments of skin freedom before having to cover up again.

Her humming faltered as she heard the oddest of noises. She listened, trying to puzzle out the source without seeing it. The first thing that came to mind was a remote-controlled toy (car, robot, helicopter, hover something) that belonged to one of the students. Her heart-rate jumped in worry that students could be nearby with so much of her skin exposed. “Please keep your distance,” she voiced with concern as she carefully turned the corner into the hall.

Seeing the mechanical scarab she jumped back slightly, caught off guard by its unique appearance. She watched it for a moment, then looked around to find the kinds with the remote. “Who do you belong to I wonder,” not expecting the robot to answer. Not seeing anyone else around she squatted down to its level, making sure her sarong kept her covered as she noticed the array of cameras mounted across the scarab’s body. “You aren’t here to spy on me are ‘ya ‘lil guy?” Ever aware that the mansion was filled with hormonal teenage boys.


Henry McCoy

Beast
28
?Years Young
3 Posts

Anima produced a series of bleeps and whirrs in response to Rogue as she spoke, as though in acknowledgment though as of yet didn't possess vocal apparatus of its own to respond in a similar fashion. Just as facial recognition software within the computer had by now registered Rogue's face, her voice was likewise registered and added to the database so Anima would remember her for future encounters.

As Rogue squatted down to get onto the same level as the scarab-shaped robot, it gave a trilling beep and briefly backed away then paused as it seemed there was no hostile intent or immediate physical danger. The query was registered, interpreted and considered.

Primary objectives were reconnaissance and exploration and interaction with the environment, gathering of data and analysis, leading to accumulation of experience and knowledge and adaptation of methods towards the ultimate objective of self-directed progression towards artificial intelligence. By this stage in existence Anima had progressed some way towards this goal, potentially perhaps as smart as a cat or dog if such things could be so easily measured.

The robot circled around Rogue, moving as if searching for something or exploring its surroundings before moving back in front of her, about a yard away and giving a single emphatic bleep as if asking if she understood what it was trying to show her.

"Anima?" a voice called out that both Rogue and Anima would easily recognise as belonging to Hank McCoy, and to which the robot immediately responded scurrying around and moving to position itself behind Rogue, perhaps almost could be considered to be an attempt to hide. In a new situation, exploring as a primary objective could override other objectives, like escaping from the laboratory and attempting to resist being taken back.

"Ah, hello Rogue," Hank said as he came into view, immediately noting she wasn't as covered as normal, though wrapped in a sarong. Though around this time of day, she would have just finished her time at the pool and be on her way back.

"Sorry for disturbing you," Hank apologised, making sure to keep a little way back, not wanting to discomfort her and feeling he was encroaching on her brief period of freedom. As such he didn't notice the now silent and still robot that had attempted to conceal itself behind her.

"I'm looking for Anima, a robot, looks a lot like a two-foot-long green metallic scarab, escaped from my laboratory due to...well, slight negligence on my part. I don't suppose you've seen anything like that around?" Hank asked hopefully.


Anna Marie

Rogue
10
?Years Young
8 Posts

Sometimes the best way to deal with people is to give 'em a taste of their own medicine.


Rogue watched Anima’s responses with amusement. The way it reacted was reminiscent of a kitten or puppy. Equally eager to interact as it was scared because she was something new. When it chittered she chuckled, it made a rather adorable sound for something mechanical. “You are surprisingly adorable. Which I didn’t expect from mechanical workings,“ letting her head list to the side in observation. “You don’t act like someone is controlling you,” Rogue commented in a curious tone. “I wonder if you fetch,” tapping her index fingers against her chin as she looked around the room from where she was still squatting.

It was as she looked away from Anima that she heard Hank. She was careful not to move when Anima moved, not understanding right away why it had darted behind her. ~Was it… hiding from Hank?~ The idea seemed like a whimsical thought to her, as she realized that she was assigning emotions and thought to something that shouldn’t have either. It caused her to chuckle lightly, just moments before Hank appeared. “Evening Hank,” greeting the professor warmly. “I would never classify you as disturbing,” chuckling again at the handful of ways what she said could be interpreted without context.

“Anima,” repeating the name in a weighing manner. She didn’t really think the name suited the chittery scarab, but then again if it was a creation of an engineer/programmer she could understand the cold name. “Did you ever have a pet growing up?” Rogue asked seemingly out of nowhere. As soon as she asked the question she waved a dismissive hand, “Off-topic. I should really be asking you what you’re up to with a robot?” Her green eyes intently focused on their resident inventor, “Is it something for the danger room?”


Henry McCoy

Beast
28
?Years Young
3 Posts

There were no trilling bleeps or clicks from Anima with the robot currently remaining quite still, appearing as unobtrusive as possible and keeping Rogue between itself and Hank. Rather like a cat or dog that's hiding and not wanting to come when the owner's looking for them, maybe waiting for a moment to dash when they're distracted or go somewhere inaccessible to hide. Unlike a cat or dog or human for that matter, a robot could be infinitely patient if necessary even if a two-foot-long scarab-like robot was perhaps a little less unobtrusive.

"Well my physiognomy has occasionally been deemed as such, and some might proclaim my verbosity as such in regards to their composure," Hank responded to Rogue's greeting jokingly, "Also when I've been hanging upside down from the ceiling the other day and Deirdre sadly hadn't noticed me when she first came in... not sure who was the more discombobulated."

As Rogue weighed up the name, Hank sensed she perhaps wasn't overly sure that it suited the robot. The question about him having a pet as well, though he'd grown up a farmer's son so he'd been around animals though he hadn't had a specific pet as such. Almost as soon as she'd asked the question she seemed to have more, so he ought to answer them for her as best as he could.

"Regarding the name, Anima not for the Jungian concept but going back to the Latin root, a word to describe the soul or spirit, vital force so to speak. An old project that I worked on in my lab some years ago, with Sachura soon after she first came here. One I've a lot of fond memories for, and I like to revisit sometimes, see if I can do a little tinkering or upgrading," Hank paused, smiling as he thought back to those memories.

"We were building a robot that had the capacity for self-learning, explore the world and learn from experience, getting smarter and better equipped at solving problems over time, maybe one day getting to a full-fledged artificial intelligence. Hmm, I think maybe robot pet would be a good way to put it."

Hank sighed, worried over where the robot might have got to, not having yet noticed it was merely a few feet away almost in plain sight behind Rogue.

"I just hope nothing has happened to him..."


Anna Marie

Rogue
10
?Years Young
8 Posts

Sometimes the best way to deal with people is to give 'em a taste of their own medicine.


Rogue just stared at Hank for a few moments as she listened to him talk. It didn’t take long for her blank stare to turn into an amused smirk, “Su’gar I’m think’n your vocabulary has more ‘ta do with people’s responses then that han’some mug of yur’s. People are too busy googling those big words ‘ta respond back as quickly as ya’d like. Though don’t go changing them words. It does the student body good ta’ learn ‘em and ya’ teach’n the staff ‘ta be more aware.”

She was honestly surprised by how much thought and meaning Hank had put into the scarab’s name. It spoke more of his intention for his creation than the actual personality it developed, but perhaps in time. As Anima evolved into the A.I. Hank was hoping for the cute scarab might find a new name that better suits it. The way Marie opted to be referred to as Rogue these days.

“That’s a mighty goal ya’ set for yur’self…or should I say it’s a mighty goal for Anima. Think yur lil’ darl’n might be do’n a lil’ explor’n? Ain't that why ya’ made him?”

 

Tags: Lylithix (Beast)


Henry McCoy

Beast
28
?Years Young
3 Posts

Quite often Hank would get that kind of blank look for a few moments when he'd used one or more words that normally stayed hidden away in the depths of the dictionary. Well someone had to let out to play sometimes, though he tried his best to remember you didn't need say twenty words when five or so would do and sometimes less is more. It was true as well with what she said, he might get some looks but not so many as in the early days and probably more often curiosity or just a double take than real fear or hatred. Things were better now than when they'd first been starting out, not perfect but certainly better.

"Yes, there are so many of those words that hardly ever seem to be used and I guess I just have a love for them. Still if just one or two of them might get a little more usage or appreciation, or just pique some interest then I've done my little bit to share the love," Hank finally replied with a nod.

"There have been other A.Is of course, Tony Stark being a pioneer in the field though sadly as we know, sometimes it doesn't quite work out. I think the best way you could put it for Anima is that of mirroring the evolutionary process as humans diverged from and evolved from apes or a baby grows into a child and adulthood. Which would put Anima somewhere at the toddler stage," Hank scratched his furry chin thoughtfully.

Rogue was right in that the scarab would be exploring and fulfilling the core purpose, much like a curious child or a cat or dog roaming and investigating whatever caught there curiosity. Obvious really when you thought about it, though as often he could let himself get distracted or overthink things. Thankfully there were others around whom could help keep him focused or going full on fuzzy blue absent minded professor when he needed it.

"Yes, you're right. Anima will be exploring so if we consider what's on this sublevel that would be most interesting. Low to the ground or where there were plenty of nooks and crannies to explore. Like, where might a cat or dog get themselves into if we were looking for one of those down here or a small child might get themselves into."