As first robot, Fusion took the honour of first home. In this post, I’ll take you on a tour of his house and all the parts inside it. But first, let’s set the scene.
When you watch films, play games or experience most robot-themed media, the robots all commonly live in human-built habitats. Wall·E lived in a truck built for humans. The terminators lived in the post-apocalyptic human world – they just levelled it (but even Skynet always lived in human-designed buildings with human-friendly controls and stairs etc. that really, robots would have no use for). Really it’s because the stories’ creators need to anthropomorphise the robots so we (the audience) can relate to the robots. The saving-grace of the trend, to me, is Bender’s home from Futurama, with the ingenious turn-around of the cramped, cupboard sized apartment, with apartment-sized cupboard attached.
I wanted to ask, ‘What would a robot actually have in a house? What would they do in / with a house?’ Here’s my list:
- Sync with a backup storage medium
- Make repairs and maintenace
- Entertain others (optional)
- Store personal equipment
- Shelter (optional)
- Meet any requirements special to the robot’s intended function
The robots in my Lego® universe coexist with mini-figures, so I wanted some mini-figure compatibility without the house appearing to be just a human-convert. For me, the robots had to take the house’s emphasis. This was the result.
An important part of my concept is that a technologically advanced house should move. Why drive to where you need to go when you could just go to sleep one night and your house has carried you there by morning? So, Fusion’s house was designed to be a floating ship / house. As such, the house is streamlined with metallic external cladding and stabiliser fins underneath. When the ship lands, the fins fold up and a concealed foot folds down to create landing gear.
The house is divided into two sections. The main section is the living quarters where any entertaining, living and general syncing / recharging and day-to-day activities would be done. The second section, segregated from the first, is the maintenance bay where Fusion’s mending machines live. You can see these respectively below.
The fireplace you can see above is one of aesthetic comfort, rather than providing heat. The house would maintain optimum operating temperature (as does air-con for us) so it’s there to make the house feel more homely. It would glow when entertaining guests, particularly humans and makes the area feel communal. Hence the seating. Below you can see the fireplace from the entrance.
The sync booth is Fusion’s bed. It provides a recharging facility and data synchronisation; should anything happen to Fusion his consciousness and memories can be recovered from the on-board computer. You can see the optical port at the top, which sits behind Fusion’s head while he charges. At the bottom are the panels for controlling data-storage access and power regulation.
The booth computer is also linked to a port near the front door. Fusion travels alot so he carries a portable power / data backup unit with him. The port allows any synced data to merge with the main computer and for the battery to recharge. You can see his backup unit plugged in below. The unit is by the front door to make it easy to take whenever Fusion is out of the house.
This is where the mending machines live. I did a separate post on their functions and product evolution here. Fusion had a Mk-I (left pic) and Mk-II (right pic) together. The bay itself was set back below the level of the living area, to give it a definable boundary and break up the house’s space a little.
A final feature of the house is that I believe models with interior should be easy to open, with plenty of access inside. I dislike having to squeeze my fingers into a 4×4 gap, so the entire front window, roof section and maintenance bay sides pivot forwards to give plenty of access to the whole house.