6 Problems A Giant Robot Would Actually Have

Well you've gone and done it, haven't you? You've wasted your first two wishes on a popsicle, and then a second popsicle, and now the genie's staring at you, and you're feeling the pressure and just knowing that you're going to fuck this up.

You're thinking of getting a giant robot, aren't you?

Well, bad move, friend. Can I call you friend, idiot? As much as it might seem like a great idea, having a giant robot would be a disaster, ruining everything you value, both in this life and the next one.

Here's why:


It's Too Big

For a giant robot to be worth anyone's time, it needs to be giant. Building-sized, at least. Which presents some pretty serious engineering challenges. I've talked about the square/cube law before, but it basically means that as something grows bigger, its volume grows faster than its surface area (or cross-sectional area.)

Who'd have guessed you'd ever need to know this?

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Because the mass of something is proportional to its volume, while its strength is proportional to the cross-sectional area, a giant robot -- a giant anything -- will eventually become so big that it can't support its own weight. There would be similar problems with the power supply, plumbing, and heat dissipation. Basically, the humanoid form we all know and love only really works if it's about yea big.

Where "yea" is about as big as you are. I'll assume you're sucking in your stomach.

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Sure, if you get one of these robots thanks to a genie or captive wizard, many of these problems would be magicked away. But not all of them. All your robot's weight would be resting on two relatively tiny feet, which would send you plummeting into the ground with every step. Imagine wading through a swampy field after a hard rain -- the kind of thing you lose a shoe in. That's what even the most basic stroll in your giant robot would be like. Walking in a built-up area, on concrete and asphalt, might help a bit, but that's going to wreck the roads. And raise the stakes. Because then, even the smallest mistake will lead to a car getting crushed or just the worst day ever at a petting zoo.

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Speaking of animal problems ...

Nesting Birds

Giant robots are, by definition, giant. And robots.

"You are, therefore you are, Tautology-Bot!"

That means they're tall, and have many nooks and crannies and other warm, flat surfaces. The types of places birds love to situate their nests. In the spring especially, you'll find your robot to be incredibly popular with nesting birds looking for a place to fuck.

Les Chatfield via Wikimedia Commons

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And although that might sound funny, it will prove to be more than a small nuisance for you. Birds don't like people hanging around their nests, attacking and dive-bombing anyone who approaches. Unless you're planning on garaging your giant robot, for three or four months out of each year, you'll find it almost unusable, and also quite a bit more shit-caked than normal.

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Teens Constantly Trying To Trip You

There's something about the process of turning into a functioning human being which requires you to spend a few years as a self-centered asshole. This is typically known as "the teenage years," and is marked by an increase in lip, a worsening taste in music, and, most troubling of all, horseplay.

Eugenio Marongiu/iStock
Knock it off, you troublesome teens.

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What this means for you, as the only person in the area with a giant robot, is a dramatic increase in the number of pranks you'll suffer at the hand of local youths. You'll be going about your business commuting or saving the world, and hear them whispering and mocking you and gigglingly speculating about what you're compensating for.

Your misshapen genitals, that's what.

And along with the jokes, they'll vandalize you, stone you, and trip you with the ropes and knots that all teens love. And they'll laugh and laugh, seeing your giant robot flounder around in the drainage behind the Walmart parking lot, like it's all a big joke to them.

Would it be funnier if you could see the robot crying? It would? SHUT UP.

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Distance You From Your Fellow Man

There's something about being behind the wheel of a car which makes it a little harder to relate to other motorists as human beings. We don't see another driver as a person rushing to pick up their child, or someone distracted by a bad day at work; they're just the blue car that didn't signal, or the black SUV with the guy perched on the hood while playing a flaming guitar.

Brett Mulcahy/iStock
This guy's probably on his way to the orphanage, for example.

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Increasing the distance between yourself and everyone else makes it easier to dehumanize them. We see a similar effect with internet trolls or military pilots. And that's going to be an issue when you're 50 feet above everyone. Yes they'll be weaker than you, and have less value as human beings than you, but you can't let that affect your judgment and foot placement, because ...

Brett Mulcahy/iStock

... fuck it. Punt that dude across the river. No, the big river. How's that for distance from your fellow man, asshole?

The Government, Man

The government doesn't have a lot of regulations pertaining to the use of giant robots, but you can bet that will change pretty soon after you knock down your first set of high-tension power lines. Expect constant pestering about the damage you do to the roads, and the traffic lights you keep tripping over, and all the teens who have gone mysteriously missing.


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And then there's the very real possibility that you'll be summoned to help with problems the government can't be bothered to deal with themselves. Civilians trapped in high floodwaters? Send in the guy with the giant robot. Aliens attacking the city? Have the giant robot guy take care of it. Teens? Robot guy again.

Wikimedia Commons
"The whole country thanks you for what you're doing to those teens, giant robot guy."

Combat Effectiveness

Now, maybe you don't plan on using your giant robot for combat, you liar. Of course you are. As soon as you get into a giant robot, you know you'll be going after everyone who called you small or knocked a stack of books out of your hands.

Dule Zidar/iStock

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But as mentioned, there's a good chance at some point, the government will send you to the Middle East to preserve our freedom. At minimum, you'll likely be the first one called when a lizard wades out of the sea. At which point you'll find out there's a problem with giant robots which most giant-robot-themed works tend to ignore: They would suck at fighting.

To explain why, have a look at this picture of a tank.

Wikimedia Commons
Rad. We should do this more often.

See how it's crawled up a slight incline? And has stopped just behind a pile of dirt and rocks? That's called a defilade, or hull-down position, and means it can shoot things while those things can't shoot it. It's part of the reason tanks have that particular low-profile shape instead of the profile of the goddamned Jolly Green Giant.

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So don't get a giant robot. They can't fight or walk, and they'd get tripped up by teens and regulations, and destroyed by Ewoks. Really, the only upside is the ability to punt motorists across the river and ...

... it'd still be worth it, wouldn't it?

Brett Mulcahy/iStock
Eat it, motorist.

Chris Bucholz is a Cracked columnist and enemy of teens everywhere. As the author of the amazing novels Freeze/Thaw and Severance, he thinks you should definitely go buy both of those now. Join him on Facebook or Twitter.

See why Hollywood fails at robots in 5 Awesome Movie Robots with Inexcusable Design Flaws and find out why robots are a great big pile of suck in 8 Classic Movie Robots That Actually Suck at Their Job.

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