Marcell Missura, a robotocist, is on his stomach staring into his laptop. A robot sits next to him. Marcell clicks and types, then sits up. He holds his hands out to spot the robot, like it's a child attempting to walk for the first time. Tapping a button on a wired Logitech game controller sends the robot walking with a rolling gait that swings its upper torso in a wide arc. Before the robot’s wayward momentum sends it tumbling, Marcell halts it with another button press. Marcell clicks and types, just tweaking. This time, the robot walks a bit better. He tweaks and tries again. The robot walks a bit worse. He tweaks again. The robot nearly falls, and Marcell catches it gently, like an egg. Marcell presses a switch in the robot's neck rendering its limbs limp, and he folds it onto its haunches.

The robot is named Copedo, but Marcell never speaks to it. Copedo can't listen, and can't talk — it only understands variables, relayed through an Ethernet cable. About as tall as a six-year-old, Copedo has oversized Erector-set-style legs and a tube of foam around its middle. On its back is a Sony Vaio UX computer, operated by stylus. Copedo’s face looks like a manequin moonlighting as a clown, and the robot has hoops for hands, expressly designed for picking up soccer balls.