Opinion: Working on joining the robot clan

Tim Peake's module, at the Science Museum.
Tim Peake's module, at the Science Museum.

Hooray! It’s spring. I don’t know about you but with the warmer days here, I am suffering from cabin fever and need to get out more.

To rectify this condition, my other half and I went to London for a few days.



I love London, it’s my favourite city, I always think anyone who lives and works there deserves a survival medal. I would happily ride the tube all day just people watching, it’s a fascinating hobby. There are folks fast asleep slumped across two seats, it’s a mystery how they instinctively know when their stop is approaching.

There are those deeply engrossed in reading novels either on the platform, in the carriage or descending the escalator. Y’see, I always like to look where I’m putting my feet, especially on escalators, but these avid readers seem to be programmed to alight within an inch of their life, perhaps they are all robots.

This brings me to the Science Museum and its current exhibition of 500 years of robots, perhaps this would enlighten me into the robotic state of London’s inhabitants.

Sadly no, there was an expensive extra charge and only about three of the exhibits were actually moving. No matter, we would go and seek out Tim Peake’s Spacecraft.

What a delight this barbecued spacecraft is. It looks like something my husband would knock up in his shed then set fire to, just for the hell of it.

“I swear I’ve seen that control panel somewhere before,” he declared, then recollected it was rather like a Dan Dare Radio Station, a much-desired toy of the 50s.

The antenna at the back of the spacecraft looked very much like the one on a Dalek in a shop in Whitby (must check that out next time I visit). That’s the thing about the Russians, if it ain’t broke don’t fix it, after all what’s matter with 50-year-old technology? It is astonishing to think this Heath Robinson amateurish looking module has been all the way into space and back.

Outside on the street, we rejoined the robots rushing hither and thither as if completing the last item on their bucket list. The buzz word on the street is “Sorry” “Sorry” as you continually bump into people. This is because everyone is attached to, or gazing into, their mobile phones.

I wonder if, in a few decades, all babies are microchipped with some device that enables them to be connected permanently to everyone and everything, just a thought.

Anyway, I’ve just acquired one of these phones and apparently I can find out what the weather is doing in Mozambique, take photos, check the ETA of cargo ships, dabble in stocks and shares, and check my bank balance (hmm.. maybe not) all while on the move.

What I would really like to do however is make a phone call.

Not quite joined the human robot clan, but am working on it.