Of course.  The novel is filled with all sorts of high-tech devices:  powerful lasers, gravity-altering dynamos, giant pedipulator war machines, antimatter shields, burrowing tanks, invisibility formulas, ultra-light aircraft and spaceships, time distortion generators, holographic illusion projectors, mind-influencing rays, and once again we must say "of course" - robots!  What would a mad scientist be without them?

Several robots appear during the course of the story, at least two of them constructed for the express purpose of perpetrating pranks.  Nothing funnier than a robot that has gone haywire in the midst of elegant people of rank and privilege -  or so thinks Abu.  The robot which appears in Katalina's illustration, below, is obviously up to no good as he begins to wander about the spacious estate of a sophisticated aristocrat.

In my dialogue with Katalina in preparation for her work on the illustration, I offered a variety of robot models, designs, and concepts, based on images from the Internet, drawings and covers from the Tom Swift adventure series (Tom Swift and the Giant Robot), Runaway Robot by Lester del Rey, other sci-fi interpretations, and my own beloved childhood toy, 'Gear Robot.'  This was a wonderful, battery-powered robot who I would turn on in a darkened room, and then watch walking across the floor as the gears inside his transparent chest spun around and around and lit up warmly (he also made a hypnotizing buzzing type of sound as he moved!)  I spent hours with him, as mesmerized as a caveman before a fire!  The tragedy of this beautiful childhood toy was that I loved him so much I was inspired to write a poem and draw a picture about him, both of which I submitted for publication to The Golden Magazine, a prominent children's publication of the time.  The picture and poem were both accepted and I was overjoyed!  I was a published author before the age of ten!  Or was I?  After the initial acceptance letter, things went downhill...  Although I waited month after month to see my work in print, the stuff was never published, it just seemed to disappear down the rabbit hole. What had happened to it?  Why was my beloved robot being so badly treated?  This was my first taste of the life of the artist, and it should have been enough to discourage me; but oblivious to the warning, I plowed ahead, and here I am, with years of bruises to show for it, but also with a new robot, resurrected by Katalina's gifted hand...

^ One of the oversized robots in The March of the Eccentrics, as drawn by Katalina Gutierrez.  Better to be you or me than the fellow lifted into the air!

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