A Gaggle of Robots Meep for Riverside

Make for what's billed as "the biggest robot event in Southern California."

SUBTLE SHADES: If you had to describe the differences between two or three of your favorite fictional robots, could you? Or would you say "a robot is a robot is a robot" and be done with the topic? We're guessing the former. In fact, you'd probably rhapsodize about WALL-E's love of romantic musicals and small creatures (like cockroaches) and you'd talk about how R2-D2 was pretty much the boss of C-3PO (even though the gold droid always huffed about, acting as if he was in charge). And don't even start you on the Terminator, right, or Marvin the Paranoid Android from "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" -- you could talk for half the day about their personalities. It's pretty easy, in other words, to happily geek out over all things robotia, but places to do so are too often limited. (If only there were a robot store on every other corner.) But there is a special day of the year, and a free day of the year, where mavens of the programmable beings gather to talk shop, admire creations, and watch robot battles.

WAIT... did we just say "robot battles"? Why yes we did indeed. They'll be going down in Riverside at the annual Robot Expo, an event that's billed as "the largest robot event in Southern California"! It's ready to roll and beep and bloop and battle and whirrrrr again on Saturday, Nov. 2. Who will show? A few robots paying homage to the biggies of book and film, and a few unique creations, too. And, yep, there shall be battles as well as artificial intelligence demos and robot builds. Intrigued? Be at the Woodcrest Library on Nov. 2 and don't pack cash for admission -- it's totally free.

HOLD ON: We didn't mention the robot DEVO tribute band. But now we have. Thank you, we're meeping and beeping out of here now.

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