The life robotic

Pat the robot

Photo By Mark Lore

The Free Speech Area at Chico State was bustling on a toasty Monday afternoon as the Chico Women’s Center was gearing up for its annual Breaking the Silence event to educate and raise awareness about violence in the community. Groups from campus came together to help spread the word on the event including, of course, the Women’s Center, which offered an information table and a cake walk. Also on hand was the student-run KCSC Radio, which had its own spokesman in the form of Pat, the talking robot. Pat has a long history in Chico, having been built by teams of Chico State engineers and KCSC DJs in the ‘60s. Pat had actually gone missing for years until KCSC’s recent move to its new location on Ivy Street. Now Pat is fully functional again. The friendly robot braved the heat to lend a hand (claw?) to the good cause, and took some time to give the CN&R its thoughts on music, sexism and what Kevin Federline does to the ol’ circuitry.

What are you doing out here?

Oh, I’m just supporting KCSC, and all the fine music they play there.

Does Pat stand for anything?

No, it’s just a very non-gender name. Because as you know robots do not have sex, so we do not have sexes.

Gotcha. So how long have you been out here today?

I just made the trek over from KCSC about 15 minutes ago, and I’ll be out here until 2, spreading the word on Breaking the Silence.

How do you feel about Breaking the Silence?

Sexism is most illogical to robots, [as is] racism. We don’t understand anything. To us it’s all living matter … and fake living matter, as in robots and artificial intelligence.

So what do you do in your off time, or what’s your hobby?

I like to relax and listen to the fine music on KCSC. I’m starting up a Chico defense league where we defend Chico from terrible corporate music. I recently listened to the latest Kevin Federline CD and my circuits nearly blew up.

Do you hibernate at night? How does that work?

I mostly just power down and a small output unit plays music on KCSC while most humans are asleep, but when some other humans around the world wish to listen to music.

Who’s your favorite group, or artist?

The Mathematicians—I find their lyrics most logical, and their beats are very nice for my robot circuitry.