Robot Stories

Work Title: Robot Stories
Medium: Film
Episode Title:
Year: 2003
Writer(s): Greg Pak
"Original" Writer: Yes Own work?: No


Winner of over 23 awards, "Robot Stories" is science fiction from the heart, four stories in which utterly human characters struggle to connect in a world of robot babies and android office workers. The stories include: "My Robot Baby," in which a couple (Tamlyn Tomita and James Saito) must care for a robot baby before adopting a human child; "The Robot Fixer," in which a mother (Wai Ching Ho) tries to connect with her dying son by completing his toy robot collection; "Machine Love," in which an office worker android (Greg Pak) learns that he, too, needs love; and "Clay," in which an old sculptor (Sab Shimono) must choose between natural death and digital immortality. Summary written by Greg Pak form

  • Self-Written?:
  • Source Name: IMDB
  • Source URL:

Era/Year of Portrayal: near_future

Distinctive characteristics of the world in portrayal:

In the near future, people who want to adopt must prove parenting skills with a robot baby first, androids work in offices, and memories and personlaities may be uploaded, thus allowing a person to lve forever, without a physical body.


  • Name of portrayed presence-evoking technology: robots, androids, digital representations
  • Description of the technology: a robot baby (looks similiar to R2D2), a worker android (looks human and tries to act human), and digitial rpresentations of someone who has passed away. Everyone interacts with the machines as if they were human, although people are unnessesarily mean to the worker android. The robot baby looks like a robot, whereas the others look human, particularly the digital represenetations of a person who had been uploaded/scanned into a digital version of themself. All of the technology acts human.
  • Nature of task or activity: Daily life.
  • Performance of the Technology: The majority of the time, the robots work as planned. However, the worler android does deviate from his original function when he falls in love with another android.
  • Description of creator(s): unknown
  • Major goal(s) of creator(s): primarily to assist in daily tasks as well as help people live forever through digitial representations.
  • Description of users of technology: Seemingly everyone.
  • Type(s) of presence experience in the portrayal: social_presence
  • Description of presence experience: People interact with robots as if they were human, and with the digitial representation as if it was the real person. It is a normal experience.
  • User awareness of technology during experience: They are aware.
  • Valence of experience: In the case of he digital represntation, the hisband enjoys spending time with the digital representation, yet it is a constant reminder of his own mortality.
  • Specific responses: Inteacting with the robot baby teaches a woman how to mother a real child. Interacting with the worker android teaches coworkers about love and humanity. The digital repreasenttion evokes questions about true love and the importance of life.
Long-term consequences:

The consequences are all pleasent, except for the man who chooses to die rather than live forever. This may be interpreted as a happy ending.


Coder name: Amanda Scheiner
Coder email:
Coder affiliation: Temple University