Robots are machines that can perform the actions of human beings. In the story by dilipsalwi robots are a “Boastful Lot”.You will meet a robot who turns out to be taking on more than he can handle.
“Oh, anther unfamiliar word,”Debu sighed and reached for the box than lay beside him. He pressed the’on’button and a bluish screen glowed at the upper left-hand side of the box. Below was the keyboard. Debu glanced again at the word on his computer terminal and then keyed it into his Dictionary, the dictionary attached to his work self. ” HORSE… Horse,” he murmured. ” Now what in the universe could that be? “As he spoke, the explanation appeared on the Dictrona screen: NOUN. AN EXTINCT ANIMAL USED IN THE TWENTIETH CENTURY FOR PULLING WHEELED VEHICLES AND FOR RIDING. The words faded and a picture of a horse appeared on the screen.
“A twentieth-century animal. A twentieth-century pen. Oh, these history projects are just a nuisance !” Debu grumbled to himself. ” When am I ever going to need a pen !” He turned around to pick it up. “Oh, now where did I put the wretched thing ?” Not stirring from the bed on which he was lounging, Debu shouted, “Mika ! Mika ! Where’s my pen ?”
He heard a hum in response to is shout. The family’s new robot servant, Mika, slid noiselessly into the room. Its eyeballs glowed blue and its metal body Shone softly in the lamplight.
“Yes, Debu Baba ?” Mika asked in his computerised nasal voice.
“Pen ! Pen ! Where’s my pen ?”Debu demanded.
“It is in your left hand, Debu Baba,” Mika answered in an even tone.
Disbelievingy, Debu looked at his left hand. Sure enough, there it was. ” Oh,”can he said sheepishly.” If I’d done such a silly thing in school,I’d be the laughing stock of the entire class,”he thought, glancing quickly at Mika, what’s the meaning of the word ‘Horse’ ?”
It is a non, the word means an animal which was used in the twentieth century to pull carts and for riding. It is now extinct.”Mika paused. Then it asked. ” Do you require any further information ?”
” So you’re programmed to provide all kinds of information?”Debu asked with surprise. He had through domestic Robots knew only very basic facts and were meant only to follow the routine orders in homes and to do domestic chores. Mike was almost as good as his old-fashioned Dictrona, and could provide the answers verbally. ” Can you answer all kinds of questions ?”he asked,”How much is 100 divided by 3 ?”
“I am programmed to answer a wide range of questions,”Mika answered. ” 100 divided by 3 is about 33. 3333333…”It paused and then said.”I can answer anything you are likely to ask. I have a large number of answers. Ask me anything you like. Anything at all.”
Debu glanced at the robot’s expressionless face. Could it be boasting ? Surely not. and yet, it certainly sounded Boastful. Irritated by the robot’s matter-of-fact claim, Debu asked it several questions in quick succession. Mika answered every question, hardly pausing to allow its circuitry to process the information.
This irritated Debu even more. He reminded himself that Mika was only a robot. He found himself saying sarcastically,”Oh, brilliant, brilliant, Mika ! What a brain, what knowledge !” As he spoke, an idea flashed into his mind. Could he ? Was it possible ? Debu leapt out of the bed. Why not ? Mika had answered all the questions he had asked, after all.
“Mika, Mika, can you help me ? “
“Certainly, Baba, “the robot replied.
“Well,” said Debu, his eyes shining with excitement. “I want to go out and play with my friends. But I have to finish this assignment. I have to use this twentieth century pen and write the answers to these questions in this old-fashioned notebook. You already know all the answers. So, all you’ll have to do is to write them in this book. Will you do it for me. please?”
“Yes, Debu Baba.”
“You’ve understood what I want, haven’t you ?” Debu asked, putting on his outdoor shoes and quickly combing his hair. ” Will you complete it by the time I return ?”
“Yes, Debu Baba, it will all be done,”Mika replied.
Debu patted the robot’s cold metal shoulder. ” Wonderful, Mika, you’re a real friend,” he said happily and rushed out of the house.
The next morning as he was leaving for school, Debu flipped open his notebook to check on the homework that Mika had done for him. He was quite sure the robot had done it all correctly. What he saw horrified him. The pages were covered with gibberish ! Mika had scribbled all over the notebook with the Pen. Page after pages filled with zigzag lines that meant nothing at all.”Oh no !” Debu cried in dismay.” Mika, what have you done ?” he thought of his teacher and of all the other children in his class. How would he face them ? His eyes filled with tears. There was no time. He would have to go to school with his notebook filled with scribblings.