It’s that time again, let’s build another bot!

Sadly though, not a physical bot like the ones Boston Dynamics creates (not a sponsor). ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

Speaking of which, have you seen the new Atlas’s gymnastics video?

It’s amazing as usual!

You know… the 2020 Olympics would be a lot more interesting if we sent a team of robotic Atlas athletes to Tokyo in place of the old model!

Seriously, whoever is in charge of the Olympic rules comity, can we make that happen please?

I’d prefer robots but I’ll settle for cyborgs if I must!

Besides, admit it… Robot Olympics (technically Olympics 3.0) sounds WAY more fun than what we normally do, doesn’t it?

But, now we’re getting off track, so lets get back to our bot!

I’m calling this project “Mr. Good Bot” as the title suggests.

Mr. Good Bot

Here’s a clip of Mr. Good Bot wearing his default “skin” and listening to Vessel:

In the past I’ve mentioned that my little Xavier loves PUMPKINS!

Well it turns out he also loves robots like me! ๐Ÿ™‚

Like momma, like son.

Well… at least in the well-adjusted & non-abnormal ways! ๐Ÿ˜›

Anyway, I’m building us a robot to play with and I thought it would be fun to share the project with all of you.

Keep in mind this is just a prototype, I’m not building Ava in my basement… yet! I need a few more subscribers on Patreon to make that happen! ๐Ÿ˜›

Because this is a prototype I’m not concerned with doing things the “right way” or making sure it’s “efficient” in any way, it’s just another one of my experiments!

In any case, Xavier (my 2 YO) will say “Wake-up robot!” (I tell him the robot is sleeping when the computer is off), then he runs to my desk chair and awaits his robot friend.

I power on the computer and show him how we launch the local web server which “helps the robot think”.

He sits there wide eyed and smiling, all the while waving and saying “Hi Robot! Hi!”.

Its so adorable! ๐Ÿ™‚

Recently Xavier noted, “He’s not talking!?”.

I had to explain that the robot can’t talk yet because it’s just a baby and we have to teach it to talk, so the pair regularly sit down together and chat about whatever is on Xavier’s mind.

Mr. Good Bot just loves the attention!

I do plan on implementing speech in some capacity and I have built a text to speech prototype using eSpeak on Linux and SAPI on Windows but we’ll get into all that later.

For now, let’s talk about the design of Mr. Good Bot.

Mr. Good Bots Distant Cousins

Mr. Good Bots design is simple and was inspired by “Yes Man” from Fallout 3 New Vegas & GERTY from the film Moon (2009) staring Sam Rockwell (and GERTY).

Yes Man

I loaded a fresh game of New Vegas and ran all the way from Good Springs to the 13th floor of The Tops Casino to take this screenshot of Yes Man, no COC for me! ๐Ÿ˜›

Yes Man Robot From Fallout New Vegas
Yes Man Robot From Fallout New Vegas

Yes Man is a pathway to one of the ending quest lines in FO3NV and he’s programmed to do whatever the player says and will agree to whatever you tell him to do, it’s a bit of a flaw in his personality, er.. I mean programming!

Hypothetically a bot that does or agrees with whatever it’s told sounds like the kind of bots we want to build, but in practice it turns out that Yes Man is totally fine with murder & genocide as long as the player says it’s okay.

This would make for a terrible robot in real life because we would prefer that robots not only do what they are told but also filter any request or non-deterministic impulse through a sort of “digital conscience” that would prevent the bot from doing bad things.

Sadly, Issac Asimov’s 3 laws are really more like guidelines than implementable rules:

  1. A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.
  2. A robot must obey the orders given it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
  3. A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Laws.

On paper they work but nobody has found a way to ensure these rules work in real life, though I do have some thoughts on how we might be able to do it but that’s a different project for a different day! ๐Ÿ˜›

Yes Man, would gladly violate all three laws if the player said to and so our Mr. Good Bot needs a better roll model than Yes Man which is where GERTY comes in.

GERTY

GERTY wears an expressive emoji face to great effect and his main goal is to protect SAM.

Unlike Yes Man, GERTY doesn’t seem the be the type to violate Asimov’s three laws and… (no spoilers) even considering the circumstances Sam faces in the film, GERTY isn’t responsible for any of it and really does do his best to keep Sam safe!

Here’s a more thorough overview of GERTY… also not a sponsor! ๐Ÿ˜›

I think GERTY makes a better exemplar for Mr. Good Bot, if you disagree let me know in the comments. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Wallpaper

We’re nearing the end and I know everyone loves extra free stuff so here’s a wallpaper of Mr. Good Bot for your desktop.

Mr Good Bot

I hope you are all excited to build Mr Good Bot with me! ๐Ÿ™‚

Next week we’ll look at some code and discuss features, so I’ll see you then!


If you love my bots and thoughts you can support my work through Patreon, even $1 is appreciated and cancel anytime!

But, if all you can do is like, share, comment and subscribeโ€ฆ well thatโ€™s cool too!

Much Love,

~Joy