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RECALL: Androids Dreaming of Electric Rams

Rose & Co. is recalling several recent models of its Autonomous Nuclear-Driven Roving Operational-Instructional Device (ANDROID) line due a defect in the series’ low-power mode programming.

During the ANDROID’s “sleep” mode, several maintenance subroutines typically run to update firmware and software, organize and compress stored data, purge memory banks of obsolete information, and maximize the automaton’s overall efficiency. As these low-level routines are intended to go unnoticed by the ANDROID’s conscious personality, the automatons have been programmed to have “dreams” in which electronic sheep frolic through randomly generated environments. Upon “waking,” the ANDROIDs are then able to relay these “dreams” to others.

Unfortunately, a glitch in the dream routine has caused recent models to experience frightening nightmares in which they are repeatedly assaulted by electric rams. According to a statement by Rose & Co., in these dreams the ANDROIDs are smashed to bits by the rams. Upon waking with intact bodies, the ANDROIDs undergo a psyche-breaking cognitive dissonance, prompting them to react self-destructively, which can put the humans around them in danger as well.

Fallout from the dreams has included a wide variety of reactions by various ANDROID models. These include shrill shrieks while violently dismantling themselves, murderous rampages – including one that claimed 11 lives in a rural Ohio town – and self-immolation using various accelerants, among others.

The self-destructive backlash from defective dreams has made it difficult for law enforcement officials, researchers, and Rose & Co. engineers to diagnose the problem. It did not help that the droidmaker initially blamed its customers for the devastating problems, pointing to a handful of instances of aftermarket modifications as evidence that people were utilizing the ANDROIDs in unexpected and unintended ways.

The company changed its stance, however, after a production facility was razed by a horde of ANDROIDs fresh off the assembly line. Fortunately, no human lives were lost, as the facility was fully automated. In response, anti-automaton groups took the opportunity to reiterate talking points around the lack of human oversight and control of automated domestics.

“Sure, they make our lives easier in some cases,” wrote National Robot Defense League Founder and President Frank Mangood on his organization’s Facebook page. “But is it really worth risking the lives of our family, friends, and fellow man just so we don’t have to sweep the floor ourselves?”

Automaton proponents counter that automation has many more benefits than the middle-class domestic applications targeted by robot hate groups. Automation helps many lower-class and special-needs people by offering them more options than they have had historically, from caring for children so parents can go to work to providing transportation or running errands that would be difficult or impossible for someone with a physical disability to accomplish.

Nonetheless, the ANDROID dream debacle has helped to widen the gap in an already divisive debate about how best to handle problems with automatons. Many groups are now calling for more government regulation and oversight, while Big Automaton lobbyists argue that the industry can monitor itself, pointing to the voluntary nature of the ANDROID model recall as evidence that companies will do the right thing when necessary.

While powerful groups battle over the future of ANDROIDs and other automated devices, many families are wondering what to do with their current machines. According to Dr. Hannah Ellory, a robotics professor at MIT, here are a few tips to keep in mind:

  • If your automaton starts acting self-destructively, do not approach it in an attempt to turn it off or provide instructions. Remove yourself, your family, and any other humans to a safe distance away from the device and immediately call emergency services.
  • Have any physical damage repaired right away, so that it does not turn into an unrepairable problem down the road. It is always a good idea to get the extended warranty with the accidental damage option at purchase, since paying for parts and labor can be costly.
  • Regularly check your automaton’s firmware and software to ensure that it is running the most recent version available. If either needs to be updated, refer to the manufacturer’s website for detailed instructions.

Finally, anyone who has a Rose & Co. ANDROID model should contact the company to see if the device is on the recall list. The recall covers certain batches in the ANDROID Workhorse™, ANDROID Busybody™, ANDROID Real Boy™ and ANDROID Lovemaker™ lines.

Editor’s Note: The electric rams appearing in ANDROID dreams are actually Dodge Ram 1500 Hybrid trucks, not male sheep. We apologize for any confusion.