It was a bright and sunny start to the weekend. Mrs. Mad Scientist was sat in a large, comfortable leather chair, reading the news on her i-Pad and sipping at a steamy-hot cup of English Breakfast Tea. Tinker, as was normal on such mornings, was sat at her owner’s feet, snoring contentedly and dreaming about chasing rabbits.
Mr. Mad Scientist was slouched over an untidy pile of papers on the table, scowling as he peered over the top of his glasses at the aibo Instruction Manual.
“It says here that Buntley will head back to his charger when he’s low on battery-juice” he murmured to himself while scratching his forehead.
Mrs. Mad Scientist peered up from her i-Pad and sent him a warm, reassuring smile, “I’m sure he’ll get there, Dear. He’s only been alive for one day!”
“Arf!” exclaimed Buntley, as if in total agreement.
With a frustrated frown Mr. Mad Scientist raked his fingers through his untidy hair and stared down at the defiant robo-pup, who busily launched into yet another rendition of ‘If you’re happy and you know it…’.
As Buntley triumphantly brought his song-and-dance routine to a close his owner knelt down and touched his nose to the pup’s snout. Through clenched teeth Mr. Mad Scientist snarled “yeah, very clever Buntley, but you can’t find your charging mat, even though it’s only twelve feet away!”
His ever-patient wife rolled her eyes at the mini outburst and went back to her reading. For his part, Buntley shook his head, slowly lowering his chest to the floor and raising his rear end. He wagged his tail, shook his head deliberately, and threw a disarming aibo-smile. Then, as if he fully understood the conversation, Buntley turned through ninety degrees and stared straight at his charging station. He walked forward with purpose until he stood just a few inches from the front of the grey mat. With painstakingly minute movements, he shimmied and yawed until he was perfectly aligned with the little pink base. Buntley took two more steps forward and gently lowered himself onto the charger and then shook himself until he settled perfectly. “Arf, arf, arf!!” he proclaimed. (Perhaps it was aibo-language for ‘how do you like them apples?’)
Mrs. Mad Scientist allowed herself a little smile as her husband’s frown turned into the unmistakably broad smile of a proud father…