I couldn’t help but wonder what must be going through their mind as they sat there alone and in silence, eyes skyward. Mind adrift in an inky sea, studded with glittering stars.
Hello friend. Save for obvious variations in gross surface anatomy, the robots might appear to be indistinguishable from each other. But each one is wonderfully unique, its life story told via scratches and dents on its housings.
(Don’t forget— the freshest content can be found on Instagram @robotoftheday !)
I spotted this brightly-colored robot across the street, a brief bubble of contemplation in the surrounding bustle of the market district. I know some robots employ temporary methods of decoration; it takes real commitment to go with anodizing dyes.
Hanging around outside a rechargé one evening and these two caught my eye. They appeared to be waiting with patience only robots seem to be able to muster. After a time I made a quick pencil sketch to document the scene. Eventually I began to rummage for an ink pen to proceed further when the third member of their party arrived (from an apparently unexpected vector) and all three proceeded to squeeze into the cab of this improbably tiny vehicle. After just a few moments of arranging themselves, the truck, cargo, and three robots hummed away from the curb and disappeared around the corner into the deepening twilight.
We’ve only just turned the corner on solstice and already we’re dreaming of sunny days and abundant energy. There’s a little rechargé vendor that usually parks their cart at a nearby open space that provides plenty of excellent “robot watching.”
Still catching up! Getting closer.
A quick street portrait. This time of year the night light is harsh, contrasty and full of reflections.
It’s been far too long since I last visited the robots. Life, right? I managed to get away and explore some more side streets and encountered this bookseller. I couldn’t really tell what the sign meant but all of the books I picked up seemed to be about cats. So… a cat book store?
A continuation of the story from the last post. It is currently unfinished but we plan to return to it in the coming months.
Was my unease mirrored in my companions’ uncertain movements? One turned to me, “Be at ease. There are no ‘spectral entities’ here— it is just a rodent underfoot.” I glanced down to see the robot shuffle their feet around a scurrying rat as it disappeared into a crack. The other robot had fixed their attention down the dark corridor: “I am unable to explain the appearance of those lights in the distance,” as they gestured at clustered pinpoints of light that appeared to float in the darkness.
Don’t adjust your chronograph, we’re still working through the highlights of our backlog.
It’s the fleeting unguarded moments that catch my eye: a turn of the head, a mid-stride adjustment, the way a bag’s weight is automatically adjusted. These little moments amid the hustle and bustle, these little glimpses into an inner light, make the citizens of this city so much more real to me.
With each visit the moments I record stack up. They accumulate; they build up in my memory and create depth and definition. In the evenings the establishment’s 3800K lighting casts everything in amber, arresting and slowing the transition of one moment to the next, allowing me to hold each one and to consider it thoroughly.
I snap my sketchbook closed and sweep my pens into my open satchel. I dig out a few more coins from my pocket and drop them on the tiny table, adding to the small pile I’ve already left there— a peace offering to the proprietor. I flip my bag around behind me and step out into the city lights and setting sun.
The robots never “sleep” for lengthy periods of time; this makes wandering their cities both endlessly fascinating and exhausting. I am especially drawn to these crowded alleys: they are always buzzing with all manner of activity and always in a state of perpetual dusk.