Alaric figured he would be getting more questions anyway so here it is: the automaton he has been working on.

The difference between an automaton and our modern concept of a robot is that an automaton is an overarching term. Automatons can be self operating machines or control mechanisms. Automata are machines that have a preset sequence of actions that they follow. If you give it input, you will get a behaviour. A robot is an automaton, but a very complex one. It is often programmed to execute complex tasks or groups of tasks.

The word “automaton” comes from Greek and means “acting of one’s own will” because that’s what it looks like to us. One of the most well known versions of it are a cuckoo clock, or the automatron puppets used in theme parks.
Automata go back to ancient times. The time period my comic is based in (late 19th century) was especially known as the “golden age of automata.”

Here, the automata are not completely made of clockwork, as was usually the case in this era. They are slightly more complex and start to resemble robots a bit, but they are radio controlled. Programming is not a thing in this comic. That’s too modern, haha.

Ok, end geek mode! 😉

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↓ Transcript
Panel 1: The father, Alaric, whose daughter Valeska we have been following, walks across his workshop with a newly lit candle in a holder in his hand. Valeska keeps staring at the hug metal puppet on the workbench. Alaric gestures towards Valeska, not clear if he wants her to take his hand or if he is shooing her out the door. He says: "come, I will bring you back to your room....why are you not in bed yet anyway?"
Panel 2: He obstructs his daughter's view on the metal man but, intrigued and still scared, Valeska peeks around her father at the table. "What is that?" She asks.
Panel 3: We focus on Alaric's eyes. He is pondering what to do.
Panel 4: His hand, with the symbol on it, grabs a receiver while he sets the candle on a small table with little doors. He says: "It's just an automaton."
Panel 5: While lightning flashes through the room again, Alaric pushes a few buttons on the receiver and says "look" while the automaton is getting up, swinging it's leg across the table to sit upright. Valeska runs towards her father who is standing in front of the workbench, her own little automaton doll still in her hand.
Panel 6: Valeska stands behind her father, grabbing his work coat to feel safer. The automaton sits on the edge of the worktable now and towers above her. Alaric is out of patience already. He says annoyed: "Come on then, look!"
Panel 7: A close up of Valeska's face, she is in awe of the automaton as she comes closer.
Panel 8: The automaton puts out it's hand and Valeska shakes it, still a little on edge.
Panel 9: She holds her own doll against her chest and says: "He looks a bit like mr. Thompson."
Panel 10: She can let go of her fear now that she realized it's just a bigger version of her own puppet. She looks up at her dad and asks: "Can we play with him?"
Panel 11: Alaric is pleased with his daughter's question, now that she overcame her fear. He says: "I'm afraid not, darling. He's not a plaything. Valeska asks another question off screen: "Maybe he can help mrs. Salter around the house?" Alaric responds: "That's a great idea but that is not what he is for."