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Headscratchers: Robots
How is this world even possible?
Last night I decided to watch and snark at Robots, I regret this decision. For one, how the fuck is this world even possible, how do these things work? I know maybe I should repeat the mantra but it just bugs me.
  1. Their arms are seemingly hydraulic pipes mounted on Bionicle-esque ball joints, how do these ball joints "move"?
  2. Also the other problems I have with this world is how they seem to use oil as a all purpose liquid, for instance, in one shot a fountain is streaming oil. This suggests that there is no such thing as water in their world, for that matter then, how are there clouds and blue skies? Shouldn't the sky be a sort of black/brown colour? They also treat oil as coffee, milk, everything!
  3. Following on from that, what sort of idiot thought it was a good idea to have a ball rolling transit system, though they never collided in the movie, did you see how many there were flying through the sky in the rollercoaster scene? Am I supposed to believe that these things never collide?
    I would go on about my theories on why the world is inhabited by robots but thats for the WMG page.

  1. Just because they look like ball-and-socket joints doesn't mean they are. They could have internal motors that allow them to move. In fact, there would have to be some kind of opening, in order to make room for the wiresnote  to reach their extremities.
  2. "Robots use oil" doesn't automatically mean that "water doesn't exist." Maybe they put oil in the fountain because they think it's pretty. In addition, water brings the danger of rust; would you put what is essentially a poison in a fountain?
  3. They're robots. Faster reaction time, maybe?
    • Plus, being robots, they've probably done the math.
    • The transit system is probably because 1) they are robots who can repair themselves and each other; it might hurt to fall off the tracks, but it's not like they'd die - and Rodney and Fender weren't damaged by their journey physically, were they? and 2) Bigweld probably funded and/or designed the transit system - and the guy isn't exactly limited by sanity, practicality or budget.
      • Offscreen precision calculation. They're robots. They can do the maths to make sure none collide. There are no coincidences - everything was calculated with extreme precision before a single ball was launched.

  • I'm surprised nobody has questioned the sanity of killing off at least 90% of your entire consumer base in the name of profits. Seriously. They stopped making spare parts, pushed expensive upgrades, outright hunted down and scrapped "out-mode" bots who can't afford upgrades and turned them to scrap metal. Even if they planned on selling this to other companies; wouldn't the government launch an investigation to see where this massive amount of metal came from?
    • It's subtle but the movie does mention that the outmodes that are actually turned into scrap are being repurposed into the new models—the shop keeper hints that the main cast can become "something else," and the ingots that come out of the chop shop are bright silver, like the new models. Also, the movie does not conclusively state how many robots are outmodes. There's a lot of them shown coming to be fixed, but, presumably, there's a whole lot more of them who don't need to be repaired and simply don't show up. Even if the ratios did approach 10/90%. Ratchet could, conceivably, just make more shiny robots (and thereby renew the customer base) with the outmode scrap.
      • So Ratchet's plan is to use the company's money to make more customers so they gave give him more money? How is that profitable?
      • Upgrades are shown to be a thing of luxury. Something akin to fancy clothing such as tuxedos and cashmere. At the very least the average robot doesn't seem to be able to afford to buy these very often. So it might actually be more like the US situation where only 1% of the people are the "Elites" and can avoid being deemed outmodes.
      • And what happens when upgraded robots need repairs, but can not afford more upgrade parts? The rich might run out of money eventually with the lower classes getting scrapped. It is possible that Ratchet wasn't actually after profits, but to help his mother kill a lot of robots.


What authority removed Bigweld from power?
There's a lot of talk about 'profits' over 'charity' as the reason why Bigweld is removed from the company but I don't think there is any kind of higher authority than Bigweld. Sure Ratchet is shown talking to what could be a 'board' but I reckon they look more like executive employees than shareholders who would have authority over Bigweld and even then they seem to be in favour of Bigweld based on the meeting scene. Additionally when Bigweld DOES return everyone immediately buckles to his authority, gets through the gates and into Ratchet's office easy enough and fires Ratchet in a heartbeat and Ratchet takes it seriously enough to cower in fear from him. Hell I'm surprised the security didn't destroy Ratchet when they arrived seeing how Bigweld called for them and seemed to be the boss of everyone else there. So who decided that Bigweld should be removed from the company? It only seems like Ratchet has this profit ideal I have no idea how he could takeover like that.
  • I thought this over, and perhaps Bigweld stepped down? Perhaps Ratchet pointed out to Bigweld that the current policy was going to sink Bigweld Industries if left unchanged, and Bigweld couldn't find a way to turn a profit without abandoning someone? It wouldn't be a surprise for a philanthropist like Bigweld to be slow to stop manufacturing spare parts that steadily fewer and fewer models use... -DS Piron
  • That doesn't really make any sense considering his actions when he did return then. The company makes the world (by selling child kits) and maintains it, it has a monopoly on healthcare and it is actually somewhat affordable based on how many poor robots can afford spare parts. The chopshop existed before Ratchet so presumably recycling was still done then so there's little in a way for them to lose money. Plus if it was losing money then Bigweld would have a legitimate reason to refuse to comeback but he instantly reboots the old policies and ways the second he comes back so it can't have been that bad.
  • Maybe he just got bored with running the company and decided to step down to focus on other activities?
  • Well it's always an option but it's a bit of a cop out to believe he was that much of a Domino enthusiast to throw the world literally on the scrapheap. Plus I'm pretty sure he says at one point that "Ratchet beat me" implying Ratchet somehow was responsible for removing him from power.
Rise of the GuardiansHeadscratchers/FilmThe Secret of Kells

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