Maker Faire Bay Area: Hotshot the Robot Interview

Hotshot the Robot

Hotshot the Robot

Over the past seven years that we’ve been putting on the Maker Faire, we’ve made countless new friends and have been endlessly amazed by the creativity of the maker community. The wonderful thing about the maker movement is that everyone is invited, and of course this includes robots, like our good friend Russell the Electric Giraffe. This year at our seventh annual Maker Faire Bay Area, taking place on May 19 and 20 in San Mateo, we have a new bot joining us, and his name is Hotshot Few Thousand. Hotshot is certainly not short on personality, and he took some time out of his busy schedule to chat with us.

1. You consider yourself to be the “world’s only living robot.” What does that mean to you? Is it lonely being the only one?
Well, think about it: you’ve got robots that vacuum your living room or robots that make you coffee, robots that wiggle back and forth if you poke them in the eye or whatever — that’s no way to live a life. I’m trying to get out and interact with people and share some real experiences. All Asimo does is fall down stairs. And as for being lonely, just because I don’t have any feelings doesn’t mean I don’t have any feelings.

2. Can you share some of your technical specs with us? What makes you tick and how were you conceived?
Well I utilize a variety of cutting-edge equipment including a hamster wheel, orange three-prong adapter, dual 67.5-volt batteries, and quad Z80 processors. And I was conceived immaculately.

Hotshot the Robot

3. What are some of your favorite features and skills?
I enjoy a good smoke. I am practiced in the art of palm reading and I would be a brown belt right now if my sensei wasn’t such a stickler for what he calls “proper form.”

4. You’re 7 years old at this point, correct? How have you changed over the years?
I would like to quote Matthew McConaughey’s character Wooderson from Dazed and Confused, who wisely stated, “The older you get, the more rules they are going to try and get you to follow. You just gotta keep on livin’, man, L-I-V-I-N.”

Hotshot the Robot

5. You love being in public making new friends. What are some of the notable places you’ve visited?
Well, I’ve been to some pretty awesome places and in some pretty absurd situations. The Burning Man festival — quite the get-together that was. I snuck into Hunter S. Thompson’s funeral gathering — that was a doozy. One time I got on stage with The Flaming Lips in New Orleans — that didn’t suck so much. American Idol was a waste of time — they had no appreciation in the slightest for my rendition of “Tainted Love” by Soft Cell. I attend Coachella Music Fest every year to keep up with the latest hipster garb and lingo. Most recently, I auditioned for America’s Got Talent in San Francisco as a stand-up comedian in front of over 4,000 rabid Howard Stern fans — stay tuned for that one.

6. Folks aren’t used to seeing free-roaming humanoids. What are some of the most memorable reactions you’ve gotten?
I’ve seen it all. People are pretty excitable. I’ve been threatened, assaulted, proposed to. I’ve been given stripteases and lap dances, and even asked to the prom. There’s nothing you people won’t say or do.

YouTube player

7. This is your first time coming to Maker Faire. How did you hear about the Faire, and what made you decide to participate as a maker?
I’ve always wanted to attend Maker Faire ever since I read about it in a Weekly Reader. The creativity of people is the by-product that fuels this blue ball called Earth. I can imagine Maker Faire Bay Area will be a heaping helping of people’s by-product — wait, that doesn’t sound right.

8. What are your hobbies?
I like to go to the zoo and stare at the people. I collect wrestling videos in beta format. I scrapbook, bungee jump, and my DVR is overflowing with shows about hoarding. I hoard hoarding shows.

9. What’s your motto?
Being a robot takes more nuts than people realize.

10. Do you foresee a future where being a humanoid is not so unusual?
I hope not. I’d have to say I’m enjoying the attention. I’m not too worried, though, even the Jetsons only had one robot, and they where thousands of years in the future. Rosie the Maid — she vacuumed and made coffee, by the way, so I think I’m doing alright … L-I-V-I-N.

Thanks Hotshot! We know you’re going to have an awesome time at the Faire.

For folks who want to join us, all the information you need to attend, including how to get discount tickets before May 10, is on the Maker Faire site. See you there!

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I'm a word nerd who loves to geek out on how emerging technology affects the lexicon. I was an editor on the first 40 volumes of MAKE, and I love shining light on the incredible makers in our community. In particular, covering art is my passion — after all, art is the first thing most of us ever made. When not fawning over perfect word choices, I can be found on the nearest mountain, looking for untouched powder fields and ideal alpine lakes.

Contact me at or via @snowgoli.

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