PLOT OUTLINE - JIMMY WATSON'S MAGIC DINOBOT
His mother, Marion, teases her son about his dreams to build a large robot ant with a
drawing of her son riding on the ant's back. Then it comes true.
Jimmy grew up in Herstmonceux. A small village in Sussex, cut off from some of his favourite venues, such as Eastbourne Pier, and the City of Brighton, where he loved to roam the Lanes and bookshops. The problem being a very limited public transport system in rural Sussex, and the dreaded A271, a road rutted and narrow, always being dug up, strained to breaking point by increasing traffic to cope with the rash of housebuilding programmes, that he knew was an affront to global warming. With every house they built, that was not zero carbon, somewhere else in the world, an Island was sinking. And somewhere else, a fire was devastating people, such as those in Hawaii and Canada. Where whole towns were being burned to the ground.
Jimmy attended the Church of England Primary School when he was younger. A brilliant school, where the teachers encouraged him, instead of chiding his ideas. No matter how outlandish. Mr Reginald Rippengal was particularly supportive. Even the Headmistress. Mrs Morrell, had a few kind words. His mother Marion was a part time teacher, at this school, and at Hailsham Community College.
Jimmy dreams of making something extra special, of inventing something extraordinary. But Jimmy believed his parents would not approve. And, he'd be sent to the naughty step, or banished from the dinner table, with just sandwiches, instead of a roast dinner feast. And yet, his creative thoughts would not go away. Better to keep such ambitions to himself. Mum and Dad would not understand anyway.
Jimmy's favourite time of the year was Christmas. Feeling all warm and cozy in front of an open fire. A rare treat, since climate change worried the heck out of him. The TV networks always streamed good films at Christmas. One of his favourites was Jingle All The Way, with Arnold Schwarznegger. A hard man, famous as The Terminator, playing a father who is desperate to buy a present for his son at Christmas, having left it to the last minute.
Jimmy Watson knows he is just an ordinary boy. He progressed from the village school, to Hailsham Community College, an ordinary school, in a former market town. Now a bit of an unplanned hotchpotch is his view. Even at his Hailsham school, he remained a loner with just a few friends, and quite a few enemies. He often wandered off into a world of his own in classes, not listening to his teachers fully, on those occasions. Although he truly admired his science master, Hannibal Henderson, and loved physics and maths lessons. And especially metalwork, when he got to make things in steel and other exotic materials, such as bullet proof composites. Learning all about cutting, joining and even hardening methods. Another world of wonder.
One day he thought to go to Brighton College, and then maybe, Sussex University. In his quest for knowledge and understanding, he wanted to be among people who understood what he was about, at least a little.
Jimmy's special talent was programming. He was taught that in Hailsham quite early on, and even dabbled a bit while in his primary school. He was always in demand in teams for junior robot competitions, or quiz teams. The only time he was popular at other schools, when their rival teams might try to poach his talents. With his programming, and provided the robot was sturdy enough, the team he was on, would nearly always win. This was noted by the schools organizing such events.
Jimmy would read books on robotics and programming from cover to cover, hoping to find new code. Sometimes, under the covers by torchlight. In the town library, he would always check out for any new books on engineering design, animatronics, and mechatronics. His favorite subjects. But, he seemed to be far ahead of what he was reading.
Then one day during the Christmas holidays, he was reading a robotics magazine, when he saw a kit for a hexapod in the classified ads, designed for developers of artificial intelligence. AI was the holy grail of robotics and the internet. Google, Amazon and Ebay, watched over everyone in the whole world, and seemed to be allowed to do so. Just to sell more product. While, governments spied on their citizens, reading all their emails, in the name of homeland security. But mainly to understand voting patterns for politicians who played along. While banks wanted even more control. To control the finances of their customers. Hence, their whole lives. They seemed to want to end cash transactions and barter, where they could not extract a percentage of every transaction for themselves. In the process, taking their data and sometimes selling it. Or, leaking it. Despite that being illegal. Jimmy felt vulnerable, and a bit of a pawn in the system. Under the spell of billionaires like Elon Musk and his Paypal entry into banking, that seemed to make him the one of the richest people on the planet, despite the absence of bank buildings.
Disregarding the follies of the once Great Britain. From that day on, Jimmy worked harder, scrimping and saving every penny he could. He had made a Christmas wish, crossed his fingers and swore an oath to himself, and to Santa Claus. Asking Father Christmas for his help, if he behaved himself for a whole year. If he was a good boy. He made that wish at the stroke of midnight, on the 24th of December.
For nine months Jimmy saved like crazy. He also worked hard on his programming at school. Racking up a whole library of code, that nobody else seemed to understand; it was that advanced. Jimmy also designed special circuit boards, building on those commercially available, including improving existing computers and mobile phone processors, that were already fairly powerful. But wasted a lot of energy and processing power, by using over complicated code. Jimmy kept all of these advances to himself. Off the grid.
Having saved enough money, and with the full approval and support on his mum and dad, Jimmy orders the kit of parts on his Wish List. He waited like what seem an age for his mechatronic box of goodies to arrive.
His father had built him a shed, especially for his son to work from. Including a nice big padlock, so that Jimmy could work in private if he wanted. Jimmy was allowed to use his dad's welding equipment. With his father Tim, helping from time to time.
As an artist, Jimmy's mother, Marion, was sometimes called on for painting and crafting tips. She was rather concerned at the size of the robot her son was building, as was his father. But, they both agreed, that if he got that giant hexapod working, it would be a minor miracle.
Jimmy's dad, had an idea that his son took a shine to. "Why not give your robot the abilities of a Chameleon."
"How do I do that Dad?"
I'm not sure son, but in the film 'Predator' and the Bond movie featuring Q's invisible Aston Martin Vanquish, I think. What was that movie?" Tim Watson paused for thought. "I remember now, it was called 'No Time To Die' starring Pierce Brosnan."
"Oh yes Dad. Good movies."
"Well," continued Tim, "the military have been trying to develop active camouflage for tanks. Maybe you can think of how to make that work?"
The idea was planted, and Jimmy did think of a way of emulating a Chameleon, of sorts.
Unknown to Jimmy or his dad, they had become the subject of MI6, secret service, interest. This had reached high levels in London, even including the Prime Minister, King Charles and Queen Camilla. Fortunately, the King and Queen would not hear of making them targets, though Field Marshall Sir Rodney Dunbar, had suggested it, in a roundabout way.
Jimmy worked away, putting the chassis and legs of his masterpiece together. He tested the drive motors and batteries and then completed the power circuits, wired to relays and an array of raspberry Pi, Arduino and a powerful mobile phone processor, using Android.
Three months later, on Christmas Eve, Jimmy fired up the onboard computer, with his fingers crossed and his eyes shut tightly. He though of Santa Claus, and hoped he'd been a Nice enough boy for Father Christmas to grant the wish he'd made a whole year ago.
Back in the North Pole, the elves in Lapland had kept tabs on Jimmy's progress. They impressed on Santa, that this young man from the little village of Herstmonceux, had kept his promise to be good. Not only that, but Jimmy's unwavering efforts had brought constant joy to his parents and school teachers. Father Christmas, reviewed the progress reports, and laughed out loud: Ho, ho, ho. His mirthful roar was heard in all his workshops. The elves knew Santa was more than just a little impressed by little Jimmy's amazing achievements.
At first the Dinobot powered up, and obeyed simple voice commands that Jimmy used to be sure the machine was functioning correctly. He named his creation, Anthony. Anthony was put on standby mode that evening. As Jimmy locked up his shed. Then Jimmy could not keep his eyes open any longer, only just making it to his bedroom. He fell asleep as soon as his head hit the pillow. Jimmy enjoying a deep sleep, during which he dreamed that Anthony, had come to life.
Overnight, in standby mode, Anthony was able to access the internet using a self learning algorithm Jimmy had written, including many of the latest AI programs, such as ChatGPT from openAI.
"The Dinobot is not in the shed." Marion nearly dropped her mug, but caught herself, only spilling a little of her drink.
Sure enough, the Dinobot had disappeared. Marion was stunned. It was not in the garden. Perhaps, someone had stolen it. Tim and Marion looked at each other puzzled. They were worried.
Back at the North Pole, in Santa's workshop, the elves were in stitches. Father Christmas had tears of laughter running down his cheeks, into his snow white beard.
Returning to Sussex, a telegram was delivered to Herstmonceux, from King Charles the third, congratulating Jimmy on his project. But how did the King know about it?
of Jimmy Watson's friends, with the Magic Dinobot
THE MAGIC DINOBOT - From Jameson Hunter, an original TV series idea, germinated in 2016. Jimmy dreams of building a giant robot ant as a special project, then one day his dreams come true when the robot he has built is transformed into a living, breathing, companion. NOTE: This story is Copyright © Jameson Hunter Ltd, March 30 2016. All rights reserved. You will need permission from the author to reproduce the book cover on the right or any part of the story published on this page.
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