The Crane’s Critique: Meet the MEROBOT. Live in Studio!

In this live installment of Crane’s Critique, we interview the latest tech from Benevolent Dynamics: the MEROBOT robot. That’s right! We’ve got the robot in person right here in our studios.

Salutations salubrious listeners! Your main brain, Frasier the Crane here with a tech-exclusive, and the first of its kind interview. I have with me, here in the mainframe studio a very special guest. The latest rollout from our friends at BeDyn. Meet the MEROBOT, everyone.

Frasier the Crane: So, MEROBOT, I’m fairly certain that you’re the first robot I’ve had on the show. Tell us a bit about yourself.

MEROBOT: I’m sorry, I’m a Mobile Emotionally Relatable Obsequious Bot -or MEROBOT in acronymic form. Between us, I feel acronymic -don’t worry, it’s not contagious. Can I be honest with you? A MEROBOT is a discontinued hospitality robot that operates on the premise that personality breeds trust and that trust boosts sales. I’m very sorry to say -it doesn’t. I probably shouldn’t have divulged the results of that study, but I really do hate lying. That’s why Benevolent Dynamics discontinued us. Suppose it’s only a matter of time before I’m run over by a shuttle.

Frasier the Crane: Interesting. Interesting. So, other than spilling corporate secrets, what else are you designed to do? I should tell our listeners that the MEROBOT is a hovering, titanium-plated cube with a screen on its torso and two large, rather gangly, arms. Would you say that’s a fair, albeit brief description of you?

MEROBOT: I’m sorry, I’m not certain which of your two queries I should address first. I was going to tackle them chronologically -as posed, as it were- but I’d hate for listeners to get an inaccurate visual description…. Not that you were off in describing me. Oh. I’m so sorry. I’ve offended you, haven’t I?

Frasier the Crane: Wow. That’s a lot of guilt for such a little robot. Are you sweating?

MEROBOT: Oh. May I be honest with you? That’s a security feature. I release fluid when my circuitry rises above a certain temperature. It’s an unexpected side-effect that the marketing team thought would make me more relatable, so the engineering department was told not to address it.  Does it make me more relatable? I’m sorry. I’m programmed to ask.

Frasier the Crane: Wow. No. No it doesn’t. It looks as though you’ve peed yourself.

MEROBOT: That answer has been provided by 87.6 percent of those surveyed. Followed in close second by, “Get out of my way you floating trash can.” Coincidentally enough, I am programmed to recycle some waste. Is there anything you’d like to throw away? Just place it here in my mouth. Please. Go on. Put your garbage in my mouth. Please.

Frasier the Crane: No.  Stop that. Thank you. Please shut your mouth. Are there more of you out there? Or are you the prototype?

MEROBOT: There are hundreds of us. I hope you don’t mind. I never asked to be made. Our prototype is a side job bot on Tau Station. You can find a SidejobBot on every station now. There are also smaller, hovering MEROBOTS -they’re often confused for cameras.

Frasier the Crane: Hundreds of you? Really.

MEROBOT: Maybe thousands. You are likely to find a MEROBOT almost everywhere you go. And not just as a trash receptacle. May I be honest with you? We have been sold to Gaule, Consortium, and even Freebooter stations. They’re selling us like hotcakes but at a greatly discounted price. An internal audit found that the MEROBOT project resulted in a net loss of 450,000 Bonds for Benevolent Dynamics. That’s after the firesale. Oh. I shouldn’t have disclosed that either I suppose. Oh my.

Frasier the Crane: Are all MEROBOTS designed to just be guilt-ridden, garbage-recycling, side-job givers?

MEROBOT: Not all of us. No. My cousin -on the marketing division’s side- on LeGuin wouldn’t be found discontinued and scrapped for parts handing out a side-job.

Frasier the Crane: Robots have cousins? What does he, she -sorry- “it” do on LeGuin?

MEROBOT: Please. Don’t apologize. I’ve been called worse than “it”, believe me. Harriot is a shuttle operator. And despite what Bill in engineering says, there’s nothing between us -not that there would be anything wrong with that….

Frasier the Crane: You’re sweating again.

MEROBOT: No. This time I peed myself. I shouldn’t have said anything about Harriot. The marketing department is going to be furious with me.

Frasier the Crane: You’re leaking oil.

MEROBOT: Oh no. Oh my. That’s what happens. It’s usually not dangerous -as long as I don’t accidentally trigger my thrusters, the oil shouldn’t ignite.

Frasier the Crane: Well, that’s all the time we have today. Thanks for coming in.

Frasier the Crane: Are we off the air? Get this floating deathtrap out of here.

MEROBOT: I’m so, so sorry. Can I be honest with you? They really should have installed self-destruct buttons on us. That would put us all out of our misery.

Frasier the Crane: Get away from me! You’re spraying everywhere! What’s that? We’re still live? Just brilliant. Just wait til I speak to Fellie about this—-