A little something from my next project. This is for a planned one-shot novel that is still in extremely early stages, but I haven't posted in a few days so I thought I'd share.
Capektech Industries Presents…The History of Robotics!
1206 AD: Al-Jazari, chief engineer at the Artuklu Palace in what is now modern day Turkey, invents the first programmable humanoid automata. His quartet of hydraulically driven musicians can make over fifty movements and facial expressions and the drummer can be made to play different rhythms depending on the placement of wooden pegs within the device. They are considered a delight by guests at royal dinner parties.
1739 AD: Jacques de Vaucanson advances the art of automata further with his Canard Digérateur, or Digesting Duck. This mechanical marvel could eat grains of corn and then defecate using fake fecal matter stored in a separate internal storage area.
1921 AD: Karel Čapek, a Czech playwright, uses the word “robot” in his play Rossumovi Univerzální Roboti. Though history credits Karel Čapek with inventing the word, it was actually his brother Josef’s idea. Josef secretly harbors a grudge until his death in 1945.
1961 AD: Unimate, the world’s first industrial robot, gets installed at a General Motors factory in New Jersey. Union assembly line workers laugh nervously and say it’ll never catch on.
1985 AD: The Robotic Operating Buddy, or R.O.B. is packaged along with the Nintendo Entertainment System game console. It goes on to be named the 5th worst gaming peripheral of all time.
2003 AD: Unimate gets inducted into the Robot Hall of Fame. It doesn’t seem to notice.
2013 AD: With billions of dollars of tax payer capital to work with, “Clean Coal” technology advances by leaps and bounds.
2014 AD: Apple unveils the iBot. Its sleek humanoid form combines the processing capabilities of a state of the art desktop PC with the mobility of a bipedal robot.
2015 AD: Apple files chapter 11 bankruptcy after the iBot project fails miserably. While consumers were very enthusiastic about the product, few could afford the $84,000 price tag.
2016 AD: Learning from the iBot debacle a small southwest corporation known as Capektech Industries creates the Capek 1. Unlike the technologically superior iBot the Capek 1 is bulky, awkward, breaks easily, and is thoroughly cheap in all senses of the word. Sales to industrial firms and government agencies skyrocket.
2020 AD: A breakthrough in Clean Coal technology leads to what scientists dub “Coal Fusion.” This new fossil fuel-based energy source allows for extremely small, lightweight, portable generators that produce very low emissions. Environmentalists rejoice as oil industry stocks plummet.
2020 AD: A conglomerate of major oil companies purchase all rights to Coal Fusion technology. Environmentalists feel somewhat cheated but purchase the new Coal Fusion reactors anyway.
2021 AD: The Capek 5 is released. Equipped with a CF reactor instead of traditional batteries, this new model is considerably smaller and lighter than those prior. This allows for the use of much cheaper materials, resulting in the first bipedal robot affordable to the average consumer.
2035 AD: Long awaited by many, World War III finally breaks out. However, due to advancements in missile shield technology and use of robotic drones in lieu of human soldiers, the countries involved quickly realize that no one is actually dying. Fighting ends within six months with no victor and the war is considered a huge disappointment by all involved.
2036 AD: Sci-fi writers begin writing World War IV stories.
2037 AD: Flush with capital from selling war robots to all sides during WWIII, Capektech Industries is now the wealthiest corporation on Earth. Cheap affordable robots now outnumber humans and can be found working in all industries. Capeks as they are popularly referred to fill almost all menial jobs in society, including food service, landscaping, construction, child care, law enforcement, hospital patient care, primary education, secondary education, manufacturing, agriculture, and generally all customer service positions.
As for today…