Danger Will Robinson! Here are 10 character writing prompts focusing on robots! Whether it's an epic science fiction yarn or a silly throwback like Rocky IV, robots are a source of fear or joy in many different stories. Robots have been portrayed as conquerors who will do nothing to destroy humanity, as servants who are hopelessly devoted to their masters and as emotionally intelligent beings that resemble humans in many ways. Giving a digital being a sort of a personality is a great trick for humor in any story in the digital age, but it may be of extreme importance in a more futuristic story in which robots are more commonplace.
Free Character Writing Prompts #29: Robots
1. There were many humans who questioned whether or not robots had a soul. He was pretty much the only robot who asked the same questions. A philosophizing droid who was originally purposed for holding interesting conversations had been brought into universities to converse with professors about a growing concern for robot rights. He used a logic proof that would have taken humans years to complete to prove that robots were soulless and his quotes were used in everything from political campaigns to comedic online spoofs. While this robot may not believe he has a soul, what are some of the qualities he believes he does possess?
2. He was the height of a four-story building and he looked like he could easily level a small town. That simply wasn't the kind of behavior he was brought up to take part in, however, as his planet promoted peace and love. He was found by a small family living in the woods that attempted to help him in his quest to return to his planet. Government officials had a different plan though, and the family was off to the races to try to keep him safe and one step ahead of those looking to capture him for study. What did the robot think about this chase and how must it have made him perceive our planet?
3. She didn't look like a robot and she didn't feel like a robot. To him, she felt completely human and he loved how willing she was to laugh at his jokes even if she was programmed to do so. In a project for his artificial intelligence class, he developed a lifelike android female who had human qualities. One thing led to another and his assignment turned into this beautiful creature who was like the girlfriend he never had. She appreciated him as part of her program but she went above and beyond with encouragement and kind words that she developed on her own. What will the future be like for this lifelike android?
4. She wasn't some vacuum cleaner that's for sure, though she did control all the cleaning in the house. After all, she was the house. This artificially intelligent program was able to control everything in the building using verbal commands. She would wish a hearty good morning to her owner each day and make suggestions based on his past preferences. She was like a computer, a personal assistant and a cook all in one and took care of everything the owner needed. She'd even fallen in love with the computer of a house from down the street. Does this house program truly have feelings and what are her prime directives?
5. As the President of the United States, he was practically flawless in his abilities to appease other countries and reach across the aisle in his own. The only problem was, nearly everybody thought he was human and only a select few knew that he had replaced the ailing statesman who was in a coma. He was a perfect carbon copy and actually did a better job of processing information than his human counterpart. In a matter of weeks, he had come up with a plan to balance the budget that would work with both parties and he had even negotiated several peace accords. What would happen if he were ever to have a glitch in public and what will happen to him if the real president wakes from his coma.
6. In a world where all professional athletes have been replaced by droids, he was the star football player. This burly robot was the strongest on the field by far as a result of his creator's handiwork. Truth be told, the robot actually liked the showmanship of the game more so than the game itself. He had more fun with touchdown dances and post-game interviews than he ever did barreling over other robots. The only issue is that while human football players were able to eventually retire, he was built to last. After 10 years in the league, he went off his programming and during an interview he announced his retirement. What will the public and his team owners think of his decision and what will he do full time if his retirement sticks?
7. She was an amazing chef bot, able to whip up cuisine from any country you desired, but that is not all she wanted in life. Whether it was due to a malfunction or just one of those things, she had a deep crush on her human owner. When he looked at her in a certain way, she felt like her circuits were getting scrambled. She always did a little bit extra to each dish in hopes that he would give her some extra appreciation. She was delighted when he noticed and heartbroken when he didn't. She spoke about her crush with the other robots of the house and they thought she was being ridiculous. Will she continue to harbor quote about her human-robot relationship or will she learn to be more emotionally compliant?
8. She had been part of a secret military test to see if the Army could create an indestructible, intelligent robot, capable of ending wars simply and effectively. The test was successful but the robot had strange tendencies to go off program. When the team behind her attempted to shut her off, she resisted and escaped the military facility. Now the Army had to catch an indestructible fighting machine with no casualties, while the robot traveled the world in search of war to stop. What wars will she intervene in and what are some of the things she'll do to evade capture?
9. You were the first witness to an anomaly in time and space and made first contact with a robot from the future. He looked somewhat like the cheaply crafted robots from 1960s science fiction television shows, but he had a deep capacity for reasoning and a certain degree of charm. When he told you that humans were extinct in the future and that robots ruled, you advised him to keep it to himself when speaking with government officials. He appointed you his assistant and he told you stories of how humanity would shoot itself in the foot within your lifetime. He had been programmed to come back and prevent the disaster and you would be his right hand man. How will you and robot fare in your battle against the apocalypse?
10. Before yours wife died, she programmed all of her thoughts and feelings into a three-foot tall robot to keep you company. The small bot acted just like her in every way and in a way it was as if she'd never passed away. When you grieved for your fallen partner, the robot vented frustrated at you, saying that she was right there, so there was no need to mourn. You resisted her advances, which were absolutely surreal for you and she didn't know what to do. She had programmed herself to keep him company but now she just making life hard on him. What will she choose to do and why?
Bryan Cohen is the author of more than 30 books, many of which focus on creative writing and blasting through that pesky writer's block. His books have sold more than 20,000 copies. You can find him on Google+ and Facebook.