Robot learns to love, but can it teach ACT test prep?


Until recently, you might have thought that besides our prominent theater department, the clubs at C-G have nothing to offer. Well, think again.

Nathan Whitcome and the engineering program have come up with what they think is “the greatest technological advancement since the breakdancing robot.”

Inspired by the fun-loving, human-like robot in the movie, Cary-Grove’s engineering classes created their first artificially intelligent lifeform, dubbed  “Chappie II.” Just like the one in the movie, “Chappie II” has a self-intuitive design, which basically means that the robot learns from its surroundings.

“The first stages were tough in bringing up Chappie,” senior Michael Warder said in an exclusive side-by-side interview with the robot. “It was like caring for a three-hundred pound baby. It only got worse once Chappie learned his first words.”

The robot then chimed in with his revolutionary words, “I AM CHAPPIE. I AM CHAPPIE. I AM CHA–”

“YES, YES, WE KNOW WHO YOU ARE, CHAPPIE,” exclaimed the frustrated Warder.

This seemingly small speech problem actually poked a hole in the initial intent for the creation of Chappie. Meant to replace the John Baylor program, Chappie’s self-intuitive design was supposed to be the absolute height in teaching ACT strategy.

But like in the interview with Warder, Chappie was seen hovering down the aisles of the eager ACT test students saying the words “YOU ARE JACOB. YOU ARE MARY. YOU ARE ANTHONY. I AM CHAPPIE.”

“It went on for two hours. That was the only thing we got him to say,” said Warder, now with fingers pressed against his temples. It was apparent that the engineering crew had their hands full.

Now, months later, Chappie is still on his way evolving.

“Taking care of him has really become easier,” senior overseer Mr. Naughton said. “Simple things like changing his oil have just become a breeze. You should have seen him before. Have you ever tried changing the oil of a robot that has the strength of John Cena but the mind of an infant?

“You know, he actually trampled a student. Just stomped him down like he was a ragdoll. I had to tell his parents in intensive care that he tripped. Given the cracked ribs, ruptured organs and massive blood loss, it was a tough sell.”

Right after Mr. Naughton said this, a glowing robotic head creeped around the corner.


“Shhh…he can hear us,” Mr. Naughton said. “We don’t want to discourage him or let him know that he’s done anything wrong; it’ll stunt the growing process.”

In a little less than two weeks since the Trojan Times’s last interview with his creators, Chappie was starting to surpass the wit of an intelligent human being.

On Wednesday, Chappie II was placed in one of Cary-Grove’s Intro to Business classes. After attending Mrs. Miller’s class for one period, Chappie started developing two businesses that he calls Chappie’s Liquors and Chappie 4 U™. The success of these new businesses is unknown.

While encouraged by Chappie’s academic triumphs, his creators expect his success to go far beyond activities within the school.

“There are so many possibilities for a device like Chappie II,” Whitcome said. “I have reason to believe that he will change the world.”

In that vein, Mr. Naughton wants his engineering students to continue in this direction.

“We’re looking to go bigger with this project and, hopefully, by the end of the year we’ll have many Chappie II’s produced,” he said. But with a $1.15 million price tag and the engineering program in massive debt, there will be huge obstacles to overcome before they produce more robots.

“You know, I’m a little peeved at the budget with the engineering program,” Warder said. “I mean, we’re doing amazing things! Just last year, the theater program got their own auditorium. That was $4.6 million! Do you have any idea how many Chappies we could produce with that cash?” Warder paused for a moment with a vigorous look on his face.

“Four. Four Chappies.”

Budget difficulties aside, it’s obvious that the engineering program at C-G is accomplishing amazing things, and they’re far from done with the Chappie program. According to Whitcome, a kickstarter foundation has already raised enough money to build a second unit that is supposed to put John Baylor completely out of business.

“It’s going to be a swift resurrection,” Whitcome said of the so-called Baylor killer. Maybe this is really the last year C-G will use the assistance of Baylor. Maybe next year it will be the kind-hearted robot, Chappie, standing on the bleachers, lecturing students on how to take on the ACT.

“John Baylor? Please. Don’t make me chuckle. Soon Baylor will be a thing of the past and all students will know the full force of our new and improved Chappie,” Mr. Naughton said.

When told of the impending coup, John Baylor responded personally to the news.

“I don’t know a lot about robots,” Baylor said, “but what I do know is is that they have no place in the teachings of the ACT, because when you give someone like this ‘Chappie’ that kind of power, that raw untouchable power, the possibilities are endless. Hell, it could be the end of the human race for all I know!”  Baylor was panting by that point and sounded suspiciously like Hugh Jackman’s character in the actual motion picture. “Always go with ‘D’ as in ‘Don’t give too much power to robots.’”

Baylor may have a point. Teaching the ACT requires a lot of responsibility and when you put that in something artificial like Chappie’s hands, you don’t know what will happen. First it could be something so small as the ACT, but next it could be the destruction of the world.

On Friday, Naughton assured people that besides the recent lab incidents, Chappie can cause no harm. “Chappie, do you plan on hurting anybody or the world?” he asked.


Whether it be Chappie on a mission to spread salvation through ACT prep or John Baylor on his way to stop him, one thing is certain: the ACT has brought more competition in more ways than even a robot could think possible.