I awoke one morning to the sounds of someone knocking on my door. When I opened it, a man in a top hat and curly mustache was standing there. He handed me a small package and a small hard-bound book to go with it, tipped his cap, and then left. Naturally, I was thoroughly confused, but I decided to open up the package anyways.
Oh well, hello there, little one. This little fellow popped out of the package after I opened it, and not having any idea what it was, I opened up the book that had been given to me, "C. Rose's Field Guide to Automata and Mechanical Machines." Buried within its contents, I found a Sprog field identification guide and this little blurb about my new robotic friend:
"'Sprog' is a term given to a range of small household, commercial and light industrial robot assistants. Differences between the models are usually only due to their Personality Profile, something that was felt made them more relatable to by the humans they came into contact with. While all are programmed to achieve their tasks, differences in personality strongly affect how they go about doing this."
"Rigel is a minor class maintenance robot, tasked with carrying out basic repairs and routine upkeep on a wide variety of systems. As general purpose robots go, they don't get much more general than this model of Sprog.
"Wide eyed and enthusiastic, Rigel is an inquisitive little chap that will explore everything if not given a task to achieve. Often distracted from his work, he is normally ordered by those looking for a friendly robot to work in a family environment. Great with pets and keen to help, Rigel can often be found under the dining table retying your shoelaces or in the garden checking your daisies for oil leaks."
Having finally learned this little one's name, I decided to let him down on the ground and explore around his new surroundings a bit.
How did you get up there so quick? I mean, that's a good 5' off the ground ... never mind. I won't ask. But as you can see, Rigel gets around quite well and enjoys exploring.
Now, onto the nitty gritty details. As you can see, Rigel's quite small, no larger than about 2.5". He's got a lot of little finely sculpted and crafted parts, no doubt created by Mr. Rose in his robot laboratory to ensure optimum robotic performance. You can also see the royal crown symbol on the back that lets you know you have a genuine Sprog ... accept no imitations!
Boy, was the description ever right, though. No sooner had I turned my back on Rigel was the little guy already cleaning up the mess in my apartment.
He was even quite keen to try moving things much larger than his size. Not knowing the limits of his strength, I decided to let him try moving this box, which he really seemed interested in doing.
OH CRAP NO NO NO, I'll save you, little buddy!
Crisis averted, I let Rigel go about on some safer tasks, like cleaning out under my stove top and in my kitchen. He seemed to enjoy the work ... well, as much as I can tell a robot enjoys work.
Rigel is also quite helpful with folding laundry and seems perfectly happy to do so. I think I could get used to this ...
He even cleans toilets! If I didn't already like him now, how could I ever possibly hate this little guy?
But soon, Rigel's curiosity got the best of him, specifically in regards to this football thing on the TV he'd never seen before. I let him watch it while I went off to work on getting dinner ready. You know, robots can't feel emotions like hate, anger or pure unchained rage while watching football. I wish I was as lucky some days.
I'm quite happy to have another little helper around the house, and Rigel's quite the little guy. Sadly, Cris' original run of Sprogs has long since sold out, but those wanting to get one should be happy to know Sprogs Edition C is on the way. In fact, they release Wednesday. Stay tuned for some upcoming news about them!
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Brian Szabelski is Tomopop's Editor-in-Chief, stuck with an ever-growing collection of figures and toys. When he's not posting on Tomopop, he can usually be found working on any number of project... more | staff directory
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