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05 Sept. 2008
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Cuke!  Klaatu Berada Nikto

The original plan of Mickey McManus was to "try a robot waiter made of bread."  He found it to be too soft to work with, "but the cucumbers were perfect."

Wall Street Journal - 27 August 2008, Edible Robots Loath as I am to consider cucumbric "perfection" of any sort, I'm pleased to see that at least one use has been discovered for this otherwise detestable vegetable. 

I am, as regular millireaders know, an adherent of the No Cukes movement.  But even so, I felt a frisson of guilt when I wrote this item about the misfortune of the farmers whose cucumber crop was partially lost to the lack of immigrant labor needed to pick them.


Wall Street Journal 27 August 2008:  Experiments with edible robot construction An article in the Wall Street Journal of 27 August 2008 gave me reason to rescind any vestige of guilt, since I no longer need to feel ambivalence toward the growing of the dreaded cuke.  Grow them to your spleen's content, say I.  We have now found that they can be used to build robots!

Mr. McManus drilled holes in granola bars and shattered pirouette cookies before deciding both were too delicate.  He found that apples had strong skin but not enough mass.  Banana interiors were too soft.  Licorice, which initially seemed promising, became brittle.  String cheese, while pliable, lacked structural integrity.

Something about the above quote makes me envision Mr. Edison, in his never ending quest for a filament for the incandescent lamp.  A noble quest, finally fulfilled, at least in the case of the robot, with a cuke.

We attribute the success of cucumber-based robotics to the strong exosurface and self-lubricating properties of the garden variety seedless cucumber.

I couldn't have said it better myself!  Although I suspect I might have tried the Rice Krispies and marshmallows first to avoid contamination.


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(The Mitsubishi has been sold, and the buyer (from South Dakota!) should have it safely home by now.  Enjoy!)


NP:  "Hungry Eyes" - Eric Carmen

2008
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