Illustration: Irene Gonzalez Chana

Illustration: Irene Gonzalez Chana

Did you ever hear about the role robots from the Ukraine play in Czech
industry? See how efficient a Ukrainian robot is in comparison to his
human counterpart. And find out what T.A.T.U. think about robot love.

Yes, the word, ?Robot? was originally invented by Karel Čapek in his
drama R.U.R. A robot is a machine that is similar to the human body and
can exercise human movements and activities. The drama was written in
1921. Coincidentally, this date marks the beginning of the export of
Ukrainian robots to the Czech Republic. In those days, they were full
of robots ideals, often taught to our students and studied by
professors with a support of president of Czechoslovakia. There were
three Ukrainian Universities, where the programming of robots was a
specialty. And the president of Czechoslovakia supported all these
process. During, and especially after the World War Two, robots were
confiscated by the USSR. Today the Czech Republic’s economy is newly
developed, and we can now afford the robots to do the heaviest work.

 After the communist era, robots came back as part of the working
force. Today, they are mass-produced, in Poland and Slovakia, but the
cheapest and the best are produced in Ukraine. They are well
programmed, some of them even programmed perfectly, without faults. We
still haven’t found the right usage for this kind of robots. Never
mind, they can do less qualified works as well. The only hitch is that
they wear out relatively fast. To insure that the robots have as long
of running life as possible, they should be switched off for 5 to 8
hours to ?cool? off before restarting. If this is not done, then the
robots operating life is relatively short compared to the amount of
money it takes to produce such a machine. For this reason, the Czech
Republic finds it the most profitable to rent them and return them at
the end of their producing life or when they do not produce to the
highest levels possible. In reality, these long ?cooling? breaks mean
that the robots can only work two shifts a day. However, they can run
seven days a week. With all that said, robots have many benefits for
the Czech economy.

Let’s compare the efficiency of an
average Czech man and Ukrainian robot.


The number of
 the working hours






*without three weeks holiday

For the next comparison is necessary to add
 the figures of the length of the operating “life”.

The length
of the (in years)






*Dismantled immediately when worn out

The operation costs of the robots never exceed more then 39 Kč (= 1,30
Euro) per day. These expenses consist of any cheap bacon grease
lubricate them and about a quarter, half litre of inexpensive alcohol,
which acts as fuel for the machines. The economical advantages are then
evident – and we still have to remember, that robot’s work week
contents from 7×16 hours work:

Prices of

fuel in (Kč)

30 Kč =

1 Euro













*This data is based on the profesional research of Mlad? Fronta (Czech Republic?s largest newspaper) which was published every Fridays in February 2003

The robots are generally operated by a very well known and organized
Ukrainian organization called Client or Mafia, Ltd. They mediate the
contracts with the Czech clients such as; the Servant Registry Office,
the Czech Police as well as other Czech authority offices. The Czech
authorities, unfortunately, make the process of importing and allowing
the robots to work so overcomplicated, that it appears like they have
an agreement with the Ukrainian organizations of making these
procedures as laborious as possible. The Ukrainian organizations
dispose all of the formalities quickly and effectively to produce the
robots. They also collect the taxes from the robots – for the work,
stock and others – tenants and the intermediaries of the
intermediaries, take care of everything and make sure that runs as
smoothly as necessary.

The real working robots

The real working robots

The average price, what is paid for an hour of work done by the robot
is 45-50 Kč, but the robot never gets this money. He should be highly
grateful, if he got 1/2 of it. If at all. Then he must pay for his
security, a tax to the employment office; in the Czech Republic and in
the Ukraine called “klient”. The common price of the night stock has
already risen by 2.000 Kč. The final net sum, the robot could save and
try to bring back to the Ukraine is about 6.000 Kč per 1 month. I said
he could try, because on way back to home the robots are often deprived
of this money by one of the Ukrainian organization or “klient”, because
– and they are right – why does a robot need so much money? Then, if
the robot returns to work, he must pay a fee for the “prolonging”
validity of visa to robot-protectors – around 1.000 Kč per one month
and starts to earn again. That is the most common circle and destiny of
robots. These organisations make almost 1 milliard crowns per year, and
this sum is only an estimated figure. It is convincing enough, that the
know-how of this organization is quite advanced.

The night stores of the robots ? because, unfortunately, they need to
be turned off for a few hours every day, as we already know ? are
located on the periphery of the cities so they will not make the decent
Czech citizens agitated, when they lied ?dead? on the pavement during a
night. They just pile there one on top of the other and automatically
turn themselves off. In early morning they switch back on and transport
themselves to work. In the evenings they come back and shut-down the
same way as they have done for so many evenings before. They are not
very talkative so they can concentrate on their work; they neither have
silly claims to the fair-trade organizations, nor any stupid special
rights – because they have no rights ? they are only machines only! –
because they have to be careful. Robots are so clever programmed; they
only worry about the daily piece of the cheep bacon and the spirits.
That is why they?d never refuse to work. The work makes robots neither
happy nor bored. In case they are worn out they are not able to hold
the high tempo, the organization immediately supplies another machines.
The old, non-efficient robots are dismantled in their country of
origin, of course.

Bot brigade - the models of robots

Bot brigade – the models of robots

The robots are afraid to have any contacts even among themselves, so
anything you do with them is absolutely secure. They weren’t presented
with the need to confess their secrets and troubles, to mumble, to
answer back to their protectors or to complain of the work and
financial conditions. All of these attributes belong among their
priceless merits. Robots don’t protest if they don?t get their salary
for many months nor in the case their earned money is confiscated by
the protector organisation. Robots are programmed only to work and

receive the operator commands and the oil. In the country, where was
the robots made is recently no or very bad paid work. These pampered
machines are not satisfied with making 15 dollars a month. Maybe the
reason for this is their over-ambitious “nature”, who knows. The rumour
is that the robots are people like we are. It is said that they
breathe, feel, pick up the mushrooms and fry them, love the mountains,
crack up over the Ukrainian jokes about their neighbours, sing the
Ukrainian songs not only because they have to fake, that they are not
machines. It is said that they act like robots, with a goal to find any
job just to have a bit more than food, not to survive only or not to be
forced to beg and to live like we can. We, however, know very well that
it is just a rumour, das Gerede, plotka and pov?dačka, a smear and the
communistic and socialistic propaganda. We are not boys and girls
anymore we are grownups now, we have our own opinion, so we don?t
believe in fairy tales anymore.







Робота [Robota] (ukr.) ? the work ? the voice of a fresh mantled robot, the period of the running in, before ?breaking of the voice? of the machine

Робочий день [Robochyj denj] (ukr.) ? working day ? the voice of a robot in the ?full ? productive age?

Робоча сила [Robocha syla] (ukr.) ? workforce ? the voice of an useless, worn out robot before he is dismantled


Робот [Robot] (ukr., rus.) ? robot – a popular song on a favourite theme of the scandalous Russian music-girl-duo TATU about the tender emotions of a robot and a sympathy with them as well. It is not the first documented case of a new kind of deviation – machinophilia.

Songs and poems about robots exist in almost all of the world cultures. The Ukrainian robots are favourite not only among the Czech employers. Russia, Poland, Portugalia, the United States of America, Canada and of course, Japan also use robots to their advantage, as part of their workforce.

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