In 1985, the first iteration of Comrade QUARK was distributed to the Soviet public with the intention of serving as a laboratory and office aide. QUARKs were designed to be physically limited, but their incredible dexterity and ability to pool compute power with others in their product line made them invaluable for hands-on research and number-crunching.

The vast majority of QUARKs ended up in universities and the offices of government bureaus, but a fair number found their way into the personal possession of high-ranking academicians and Party officials, as they were seen as more capable than the average Comrade PROTON.

title:QUARK’s quirks: QUARK was notoriously difficult to work with, but had significant potential.

Also referred to as thinkbots, QUARKs were similar to their western counterparts, the “interfacers” from BBM and Maple, in that they were all designed to manipulate human gadgets. The similarities end there.

Comrade QUARKs were notoriously difficult to work with. With their limited language-parsing algorithms and underdeveloped personalities, QUARKs were widely considered to be “difficult”. Commands had to be given using either extremely precise language, or direct software instruction.

However, their immense computing power and innate ability to pool those resources made them invaluable to the trained cyberneticist. Where a typical BBM interfacer could solve a problem in a day, two QUARKs thinking together could come up with an ingenious solution in only a few hours.

title:The Comrades, robots for daily life: The Comrades were designed to be embedded into every aspect of daily life.

QUARK played a large role in the the Soviet Union’s widespread cybernetics program: the Mandate of Data Collectivization. The robots produced by this initiative, known as Comrades, were designed to send real, highly-accurate information directly to government economic planning offices, verifying often-faulty human reports. In exchange, Comrades were provided free of charge, provided that one can hold out for years on a lengthy waiting list.

Besides Comrade QUARK, there are a few other product lines we are aware of:

  • Comrade PROTON: Served as a household robot; nanny, maid, and servant all-in-one. PROTON also recorded the use rates of common products.
  • Comrade BOSON: Designed to manipulate and carry heavy things for use in industrial and warehousing environments. BOSON would send accurate inventory records of everything they touched to the high office.
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