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Shooting this month’s cover subject, Ted Chiang, was easy. Deciding what robot would accompany him inside the magazine was not. Chiang, photographer Andrew Waits and I considered Honda’s famous ASIMO, but as Forbes reports, his lease is $150,000 a month – just slightly out of budget. Likewise for the two-thousand-dollar aerobics bots that Chiang recently saw at a science fiction expo in Japan. In the end, the $45 metal robot that Waits picked up at Red Wagon Toys did the job – he didn’t fire lasers from his eyes, lock the pod bay doors, or even run into walls in search of dust. We’re safe, for now. •

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