Vignette: Robot takes a fixed cup out of a bottom bracket by Logan Streondj

He picked up the long bolt and began threading it through the nut, fortunately his wrist could spin so it was a quick process. His chemical sensors picked up a machine oil scent, of a composition he was unfamiliar with, perhaps an old lubricant. The world swivelled as he looked up. He hit himself on the side of head and the eye actuators de-gummed enough to align. The fan was still spinning.  If he fixed this bike, he could afford some spare parts.

He stopped threading the nut when it had gotten a third of the way on the bolt, and he put a washer on. Then he moved over to his bike that had most of it’s crank box disassembled, only the fixed cup remained. He manoeuvred his arm unsteadily, and took several attempts before getting the bolt through the fixed cup’s hole.

He picked up a washer and peered at it with his good left eye, holding it at a measurement distance. He counted the pixels in his vision to get the exact inner and outer diameters.  That wasn’t the washer he needed, he picked up another, the reading on his fingers gave him the thickness, this one felt better, he measured it, yes that’s the one.

He put the washer on with finger extending tweezers and threaded on another nut until it was tight. He started to turn the bolt but it gave way. He secured it on the other end with a  ratchet wrench.  His wrist motors clicked as they reached their limit, so he secured the ratchet handle to the bike frame, and got a long pipe to put over the wrench on the other side. finally it gave way.

After putting in the electric mid-drive and attaching the other components it was ready. His right wrist was sore, and his upper arm actuators were acting up. At least one of those he’d be able to fix with the profits from this bike.

He plugged himself into a socket and slumped over into low power mode. His vision faded and was replaced by the stores security feeds. He could see his body in the corner. He messaged the customer that their bike was ready for pickup.  He checked on his investments, but he was still a few years away from retiring. After doing a body scan he determined it was the right wrist that had the most wear, so would be the next to be replaced.

As Einstein said, ‘It’s crazy to do the same thing twice and expect a different result’, he thought to himself, so he looked at new wrists, one that had better endurance and resilience but could still fit and weren’t too heavy.

A bell rang as the store door opened. He had his new wrist in his cart, so he powered up his body and faced the customer. The room scanned the customer and found it could not detect a payment chip. Yet the customer already had their hands on the handlebars, and were looking over the bike.

“Payment first” the robot said, jerking his right arm as the actuators gummed up.

“Ah yes,” the customer said, reached into their pocket and pulled out a small metal faraday cage box. “here it is”, he pulled out a card and waved it infront of the reader.

The payment was processed. Relief flooded through the repair bots circuits.

“Thank you for your service”, the human said wheeling the ebike out of the store.

The robot deactivated his body and smiled to himself, then he clicked buy.

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