Sunday, September 25, 2011

Berk Sample Character: Professor Clanky, Robot

Robot design by Onorio D'Epiro; image is from
Name: Professor Clanky
Species: Robot
Faction: None (joint Librarians/Brofessors affiliation)

Berk residents who collect children's books and videos from the Between-Time will remember Professor Clanky as the host of a children's program that was popular in the Bay Area. Professor Clanky taught children simple scientific principles and showed them simple experiments they could do at home with material found lying around the house.

The Second Event struck between seasons of the Professor Clanky Show, so the Robot was in storage in a studio warehouse. By some lucky chance, the Neo-Luddites did not spend much time searching the ruined warehouse, which contained mostly props and costumes for the studio's other shows.

Generations passed, and then a party of adventurers consisting of both Brofessors and Librarians searched through the warehouse and found the Robot. It was still in relatively good condition, though a small family of Berk rats had built a nest in its big, round head. Once the rats were chased off, the Brofessors and Librarians took the Robot back to the Great Library. The two factions were already debating over who would get to claim the Robot, but the Brofessors had to agree that the Great Library would offer a better chance of getting the Robot fixed up.

As the Librarians and Brofessors worked on the Robot, a Librarian came by who was familiar with the Professor Clanky books that had been released as a tie-in to the Professor Clanky Show. She was excited that this might be the original Professor Clanky Robot, and went and got all the Professor Clanky books and videos the library had recovered in case they might help with the repairs.

When the Robot awoke, it found itself surrounded by Professor Clanky memorabilia. Nobody had ever bothered explaining to the Robot that Professor Clanky was a children's show designed to make the network money. Instead, the Robot believed that its purpose was to teach people about science. It introduced itself politely in its warm, intelligent voice and proceeded to explain to the baffled and delighted Brofessors and Librarians how water tension works.

When the Robot learned how much had been lost after the Second Event and the Librarians' quest to recover lost technology, it resolved to join in the quest and accompany the Researchers into the ruins to recover as much technology as possible so that it could continue its job of teaching people that science can be fun.


Professor Clanky is about five feet tall, with a round head with two small, round lightbulb eyes, a small grille for a mouth between and slightly below the eyes, and not much else for facial features. His chest is covered in an array of buttons and blinking lights. His arms and legs are spindly but made of strong metal. Despite his oversized feet, he is still rather top-heavy and wobbles when he walks.

His voice is kindly and well-spoken, with a mechanical sound to it. He sometimes wears a white lab coat, but he leaves it open to show the flashing lights on his chest. His body is a dull gray with a reddish tinge where rust has been scrubbed off. He is covered with dents, welds, scratches, and patches where he has been damaged and repaired.


While Professor Clanky initially tried to venture out unarmed, he learned his lesson when he returned to the Great Library dragging several attack squirrels chewing on his ankles. Because he hates the idea of hurting other living things, he carries a self-made glue launcher. It is a crossbow-shaped device that launches a pot of glue that incapacitates whatever it hits. In addition to several spare glue pots, Professor Clanky also carries a satchel over one shoulder that contains repair tools, oil, spare batteries, and spare parts.

Greatest Secret

The Brofessors and Librarians argue over whose faction Professor Clanky belongs to and where he should stay. In order to try to win the Robot to their side, both Brofessors and Librarians have tried to convince him that their view of Shakespeare is the correct one. Professor Clanky has read the Bard, and he has decided that neither side is correct in their interpretation. Professor Clanky is in no hurry to voice his opinion, because he does not want to cause discord, but he believes that Shakespeare must have been a Robot.


  1. AWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW! I want Professor Clanky to tell me all about how gravity works. You know how I love small, cute, chirpy things. :3

  2. Definitely not chirpy! I picture him sounding more like Bill Nye. Or Bill Nighy. Either works, really.