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Headscratchers / Big Guy and Rusty the Boy Robot

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  • In one episode, after swapping some parts of his mind with that of one member of Legion Ex Machina, Rusty starts building a giant robot of mass destruction. AT QUARK HEADQUARTERS. And nobody notices it until it's completed and ready to go.
    • A reason: Not Now, Kiddo. The Moral: Parents need to pay more attention to their kids. Especially when their kids are state-of-the-art robots!
      • As controlling as Donovan is, though, you'd think all the materials Rusty appropriated to build that robot would have been accounted for somehow and/or the scientists he swiped them from would notice their absence. But then again, maybe Quark is a lot less bureaucratic than it seems.
      • Considering Rusty flat out stole the Anti-Neutrino Tube from a local plant, it's likely that whatever he couldn't find by asking, he either salvaged from scrapyards or just took em from things that other people wouldn't miss. Even when he stole the Tube, it wasn't until the Big Guy did a particle scan that they found out it was him, so the kid can be pretty sneaky.
      • Rusty has been shown to be scarily intelligent on numerous occasions. The most prominent are when he tricked Pierre into attacking Neuggog, and tricked the evil space-station AI into installing his back-up emotion grid.
      • Also, Quark Industries security is a complete joke.
      • In a future episode, Number 4 managed to rig together a giant robot body out of military hardware in what seemed to be around ten minutes. There may have just not been any time to notice.
  • In the episode Moon Madness, Dr. Slate is nearly sucked into the vacuum of space. Once Big Guy seals the space station back up, there's still the problem of all the air having been shut off and sucked out, so Lt. Hunter pulls her inside the Big Guy. How did he get her inside without losing all the air he had? (I'm suspending disbelief about how air-tight the BGY-11 is and how much air it can hold in that tiny cockpit.)
    • It's easier to pressurize a little cockpit than a whole huge space station, or even a single room. I'm sure that the pressure inside the BGY-11 would go back to normal as soon as the door is shut because it would have to be able to regulate pressure for high-altitude flying, at the very least.
      • And for deep-ocean diving, evidently. But all the air they were breathing...? Assuming the Big Guy had been modified with some kind of oxygen reserve, it wouldn't have been intended to support two adults for the whole trip back to Earth, which is hopefully/presumably faster in their universe than it is in ours.
      • We have rebreather technology today. Why would the Big Guy not be so equipped? A reasonable margin of safety would give enough capacity for Dwayne and the smaller Erica to survive the trip.
  • At one point the Legion downloads all Rusty's software, leaving him (his hardware anyway) wiped clean. Dr. Slate says she has backups but that they don't include all the things that really make him Rusty. However, when we switch over to the Legion rifling through Rusty's programming, Rusty's personality seems in tact (and of course, later on he's restored to his body just fine) obviously those learned bits of "Rustyness" are copyable and transferable. So why doesn't Dr. Slate have truly complete backups?
    • Been awhile since I saw the episode, but wasn't Rusty's mind still running Inside The Computer System? It may be a "continuity of consciousness" issue: Those learned bits of "Rustyness" are copyable and transferable, but can't be stored in a static form. Which brings up the question of what "power down" mode (Rusty's version of sleep) is, how long it can be made to last, and why Dr. Slate can't build a spare robot brain, copy Rusty's mind into it, and just leave it in "power down" mode until it's needed.
      • Except that anything that can be transmitted can be stored in static form. You can just make a recording of the transmission and store that, like an audio tape. It's more likely that there had never been a need for a copy of Rusty upto that point, and so Dr. Slate had imprudently failed to make one thanks to plot induced stupidity.
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    • The giant "Spider" bot that the Legion used, forcefully shut down Rusty's body before making the transfer. Rusty's AI "woke up" in a software based "containment field." Considering how badly Donovan wants Rusty scrapped, and how risky this is for Dr. Slate, it's not surprising that Rusty's "learned Rustiness" doesn't have a backup. In fact, it's amazing that Dr. Slate has backups of the original software.
  • I'm surprised Dr. Slate isn't more stunned after the revelation the Big Guy has pilot. I mean, never mind the ongoing deception... that means that she really and truly created the first successful AI robot. Not counting Dr. Poindexter's machines that became the Legion Ex Machina, as their emotion grids failed to balance their logic circuits. Rusty is the first robot to be invented that's fully self-aware, could pass a Turing Test, and mostly acts and feels like a young boy (barring all the saving-the-world stuff). She should be getting Nobel prizes and grants and honorary degrees! But instead, not only is the world unaware of Lt. Hunter's heroism, it's also unaware of Dr. Slate's fantastic strides in technology.
    • I don't think that Big Guy was ever supposed to be very impressive in intelligence. The army isn't pretending that Big Guy is self-aware or that he could pass a Turing test. He's only supposed to be programmed to fight and say witty one liners, not to think.
      "We believe Rusty represents the latest advance in true artificial intelligence, which makes him better equipped to serve humankind than his purely robotic predecessor, the BGY-11."Dr. Slate
      I think this means that Rusty is supposed to be the first robot to really simulate a human, and that's without even being aware that Big Guy is a fake.
      • But the Big Guy was still introduced as a big step in AI (it presumably hadn't been accomplished before, since they struggled and failed with the BGY-11). We don't really see many other robots in action that aren't villains...I think mostly Dr. Donovan's very very stupid primary-colored lackeys are the most recurring. So even as simple as he is presented to be, the Big Guy seems like the most developed AI around (and again, of the robots know to exist to the people of the show universe). If he were known to be fancy armor, that would make Rusty not only the most human AI developed, but the first successful AI period, which would be a mighty fancy resume booster for Dr. Slate. (Though even if that's not actually the case, it seems like everyone in-universe still takes Rusty's advances for granted and not the phenomenal break-through that they would be in real life... but I guess that's outside the scope of the show anyway.)
      • Cue EP-372, aka Earl. Dr. Slate actually built, and scrapped, her first intelligent robot because he was little more than a jingoistic, snarling little soldier barely able to follow unflinchingly every single order they threw at him. As far as the world is concerned, Big Guy is a jingoistic bot able to protect and serve, beloved but still constrained by his limits, while Rusty is the first self-aware robot able to mature, feel emotions and interact in a meaningful way with humanity. In a way, Big Guy may be sentient, but Rusty is truly alive.
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    • There's also the fact that Dr. Slate's response was more along the lines of "I thought so" than shock. Seems she was suspicious about Big Guy for a while before the reveal.
    • You're missing the big point here: so what if she knows? She CAN'T tell anyone, or Rusty will find out Big Guy isn't a real robot. And as his "mother", she loves him too much to put her potential success over her child's happiness and welfare.
  • Does anyone know what Doctor Donovan's doctorate is actually in? As far as I know, neither business and finance nor "being a complete jerk" offer doctoral programs.
    • But "making a monkey talk" IS!
  • The main villains's goals to destroy humans and create an emotionless AI city or something like that appear to be neither logical conclusions of their programming nor a simple stimuli response like plants growing towards the light. Unless I'm missing something everyone in the show is missing the irony of this. These main villains appear to be emotionally invested in an emotional goal to create a city without emotion. Everybody in the show seems not to realize that motivation comes from emotion even if its not human emotion.
    • When a toaster breaks and starts burning your toast, people very rarely attribute it to an emotional hatred of toast. The legion are machines that are broken in a very unfortunate way and they do obviously have emotions, but there is no way to tell whether it is the emotions causing their bad behavior or it is just their brokenness.
      • This might be true but when a toaster breaks its clearly just overdoing its original purpose and shows no intention of burning the toast. They seem to have decided to create the robot city and unless its a logical conclusion of programming they started with its likely an emotional decision.
      • Given their creator's disappointment with them, it's likely that they weren't given a directive at all when activated, and so concluded on their own that "building Robotopia" was their prime directive and single-mindedly pursued this to the exclusion of all else, just like a machine.
  • Rusty was developed to replace Big Guy as Quark felt he was becoming obsolete. On a couple of occasions it is shown that Rusty is indeed more powerful than Big Guy, but due to his inexperience he doesn't use his skills to their fullest potential. Case in point, he's a terrible shot. So here's a good question: Why not give Big Guy some new upgrades? Surely they could at the very least give him some stronger armor so he could take even more hits.
    • The primary reason is likely that the BGY Commission wanted a replacement for Big Guy as Lt Hunter would eventually have to retire or die of old age and his own human needs (such as sick days, vacation days, off time) means that he's not truly able to be a round-the-clock hero. In addition, the Big Guy requires a lot of secondary and tertiary hardware (as well as a full pit crew) to maintain. Rusty, on the other hand, just needs some power-down time to recharge his batteries and can effectively patrol the city at all times. And his entire maintenance department is one scientist (admittedly a very brilliant scientist, but still one person nonetheless).

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