"I, Robot" by Isaac Asimov
Lessons by E.S. Belasic
Chapter One - Robbie
Susan Calvin - She is being interviewed after working for US Robot and Mechanical Men for 50 years
Robbie - a non vocal nursemaid robot that was made in 1996. His job was to take care of Gloria
Gloria - an eight year old girl
Mrs. Weston - Gloria's mother and wife of George
George Weston - father of Gloria and husband of Mrs. Weston.
The Talking Robot - First Talking Robot is on display in New York City
Mr. Struthers - General Manager of US Robot and Mechanical Men - gives tour of the factory
All entries are posted in your Robot Journal
Part 1 - Vocabulary: (Required - 25 points)
Write a complete definition for each word. Be sure to provide the parts of speech and to use the word in a complete sentence.
Part 2 - Art Work (40 points)
Using selected quotes from the text, draw a full color rendition of what you think Robbie looks like. Here are a few to get you started:
(pg 3) "Robbie nodded his head - a small parallelepiped with rounded edges and corners ..."
"...the glowing red of Robbie's eyes..."
(pg 4) "Carefully he raised the little girl and placed her on his broad, flat shoulders."
(pg 27) "Robbie's chrome-steel arms ..."
Part 3 - Science Time Line (15 - 50 points)
The story "Robbie" was written in 1940. The story takes place in the year 1998. We are reading it in the 21st century. Using the text and a little research, make a timeline comparison with the following requirements.
Be sure to use complete sentences and references from the story.
(15 points) Technology of the 1940's: What kind of technology was available to the people of that time period? Give 5 examples of the newest technology in that society.
(15 points) Technology of Asimov's version of 1998: What technology did Asimov envision the people of 1998 having? Give at least 3 references.
(20 points) Technology of Today: Rate Asimov's predictions. What are some forms of technology that we have that were not available in 1940 are were not mentioned in Asimov's version of the future. Do we have anything that Asimov mentioned? Give 5 examples.
Part 4 - Robbie (25 points)
Answer the following statements and cite 1-2 quotes for each to support your statements.
Describe Robbie's personality.
Describe his relationship with Gloria.
Does Robbie have feelings?
If Robbie were a person, how old would he be mentally and physically?
Does Robbie obey the First Law? What is the First Law?
Part 5 - Mrs. Weston (40 points)
Mrs. Weston has very strong negative feelings about Robbie. Why doesn't she like him? Why does she call Robbie "it" while Gloria and her father refer to Robbie using the terms "he, him or his"? Cite 3-5 quotes that really convey her feelings.
How do you feel about Robbie? Do you agree or disagree with Mrs. Weston? 5-8 sentences.
How does Mrs. Weston feel at the end of the story?
Part 6 - Short Essay: Choose one and write 2-3 paragraphs. (45 points)
When Gloria is looking for Robbie, she talks to the "Talking Robot" and with a simple question, the robot overloads and malfunctions. What happened and why?
Mr. Struthers mentions that there is a small amount of robot labor at the factory, where robots make more robots. How can robot labor affect the need for human labor? Don't we want robots to do work for us? Why would a labor union object to this idea? Is this true today?
If you had a personal robot, do you think you would feel the type of attachment that Gloria had with Robbie? Is owning a robot that much different than owning a pet? Are attachments that you form at a younger age stronger than those formed as you get older?
Grading Scale: Click here for the Grading Rubric (pdf)
125 points = A
100 points = B+
75 points = B
50 points = C+
25 points = C
Less than 25 points = D
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