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Small Robots – aka @smolrobots – began with a simple idea: to draw cute robots and post them on Twitter. It was intended as an antidote of sorts to an embattled political landscape that, especially in the breakneck world of social media, can be physically draining to engage with. Small Robots would be kind, helpful and, when called upon, fiercely defensive of the marginalised and oppressed. All these aims were realised and then some, with the account growing rapidly to become a source of comfort, hope and even inspiration to its followers.
Now we want to give them their own book -- but we need your help to make this happen.
Small Robots offer fictional and often idiosyncratic solutions to everyday anxieties: they bring tea, remember names, complain in restaurants and all sorts of other minor jobs. But they also tackle more serious problems: mental health, disability, discrimination and grief. In doing so, they show that many of the problems we face are more universal than we imagined, and that all of them – big or small – are part of a single continuum of human experience.
If you'd like to help us make this book a reality, please consider pledging for one of the levels to the right. And here is what the book might look like...
The @smolrobots account has already created more than 500 robots. Now we'd like to give them their own book, which will feature 100 of the best and most beloved of the limitless stable of small, helpful bots and delve into the fictional backstories of these wonderful but sometimes bafflingly obtuse creations. It will also contain new art that puts the robots in context, illustrating how they perform their all-important tasks in the world of their large human friends.
The Small Robots project was created by Thomas Heasman-Hunt, a semi-professional author of science-fiction novels, among other things, and a not-even-a-little-bit-professional doodler of whatever pops into his head during meetings. His art is informed by his experiences of depression and anxiety, as well as his passion for equality and social justice.
*Images of the book are for illustrative purposes -- the final design will be confirmed after we hit our crowdfunding target and we can begin making the book!
Thomas Heasman-Hunt is the creator of Small Robots. He lives in Cambridgeshire with his wife, Emma, and their tortoise, Meat-Pie. By day he works for the NHS as a specialist in data quality but he is also a published author with his debut sci-fi novel released last year and a sequel to follow in the Autumn.
He has drawn and painted since childhood but an unpleasant experience in secondary education put him off pursuing art as a career or developing his skills beyond a rudimentary level. The irony that he has now circled back to it after concentrating on writing for so long has not escaped him.
Originally from the Midlands, he first pursued a degree in Physics in Wales but switched to English Literature when this proved much too difficult. He met Emma in their first week together at university and they have been inseparable ever since, marrying in 2011.
- 29th March 2019 Time's running out!
Hey, everyone! Sorry for the sparse updates. For those of you who follow @smolrobots on Twitter, you'll know that work has been ongoing with the book for a while now and we're on schedule for a November publishing date. Here's where we're at: - The first draft (including all illustrations) was completed last November. - Editing took place earlier this year abd everyone's pretty happy with…20th September 2018 Stretch goals!
Now that the book has been fully-funded, it's time to introduce some stretch goals. These are freebies that every backer will get if the total reaches a certain milestone above 100%.
So, the first stretch goal is a PDF featuring art that will eventually be included in the book. We're working hard on the manuscript right now, but it'll be some time before you get to see any of…10th September 2018 100% funded!
Well, tonight the book was fully-funded. I can't thank everyone enough for their support for this project and getting us to this point. There's still a long way to go - I have to figure out the best way to take an idea that began as a largely image-based Twitter account and make it into a book people will want to sit down and enjoy, and then I actually need to write and illustrate that!
It's been…10th August 2018 70%!
Hey, everyone - we just hit 70% funded! Thanks to everyone who's contributed. The new pledge levels just went up today, so now you can get hold of your own knitted Tinybot, some fridge magnets featuring Teabot and everyone's favourite pointer-at-cheese Dairybot and, most magnificently of all, a plush Bigbot! We're not precisely sure how that one's going to turn out yet, but it should be pretty cool…5th August 2018 60% funded and some general updates!
Hello, everyone! This is Thomas, the strange little mind behind small robots.
As of just this minute, this campaign has hit 60% funded! Thank you to everyone who's pledged so far - to get to this point after just 10 days is honestly incredible.
Traditionally, this is the point where I'd say that I never expected this kind of success and I'm shocked and delighted to have come so far in such…1st August 2018 50% funded!
Less than a week into this campaign and we're halfway to the finish line! Thank you all so much for supporting this project. Unicornbot seems pleased:30th July 2018 40% funded!
Hi, everyone! We've hit 40% of the funding target, which is great after just four days! Here's Pupperbot showing its appreciation...28th July 2018 30% funded!
30% funded now! This is amazing: thank you all so much. Look how happy you've made Spiderbot:27th July 2018 20% funded!
Wow! 20% funded in under 24 hours! Thank you so much. Notokaybot is pretty okay with this!26th July 2018 10% funded!
Thank you to everyone who has pledged already! We've already passed 10% of the target. Tinybot is very pleased:
These people are helping to fund Small Robots.