Wednesday, January 22, 2014

My son, Dalek and I

A few years again I was given an 18" remote controlled Dalek which also has an automatic mode. This automatic mode uses a variety of sensors including heat sensitive ones to examine the surroundings and communicate accordingly. It has a dictionary of known commands which it may choose to honour or ignore and can be programmed for set movements, play games, follow someone around the room, or seek and locate. 

My son really likes Daleks and spotted it in the cupboard when I was putting my train set away. So I decided to get it out, replace the batteries and brush up on the instruction manual. 

I first of all started it in remote control so I could check all the movement; then placed it in automatic mode. My son was not pleased and jumped onto his bed to hide from the Dalek which I'd now commanded to be in 'seek locate' mode. The Dalek started moving around my son's room seeking out heat sources. At this point dinner had just been set out, so I called to my son to run past the Dalek as its back was turned. He was a little scared, but when in the hallway I accidentally switched the lights off - all you could see was the blue light moving around my son's bedroom walls. My son screamed a little, so I put the light back on and carried him down the stairs for dinner. 

"The Dalek is going to come down the stairs and get me"

My son was scared of the Dalek and that it might come down the stairs. All you could hear in the living room was the Dalek roaming about in the room above through the floorboards. My wife was demanding I switch it off so I asked my son to come back up with me and I'd show him how to disable it. He went upstairs but decided instead to go into the bathroom and tried to close the door. I encouraged him into his room and we both sat in front of the Dalek and I instructed the Dalek to power down. I must have misspoke the command as it reported "Multiple lifeforms detected" and proceeded to exterminate us. Eventually I got the 'power down' command correct and told my son the Dalek would stand down now - but just don't tap his head as this would wake him back up. We went back down for dinner. 

Later when my son was distracted I went upstairs, switched the Dalek off and placed it back in the cupboard. 

Maybe when he is a little older...