The Robot Contest

"Danbo's Shadow and Evil" by craigmdennis on Flickr

They say robots will take over the world one day. Keeping this in mind, the figmods have decided to prepare you for impending doom. What do we advise, you ask? Stock the basement, become a hacker, carry wire clippers, and get used to the idea of no more Hulu.

But while we have internet, we’re giving you the Robot Contest. Which was actually inspired by this.

Your task: Write a story, poem, play, etc. that is no more than 1500 words. It must include a robot/android, can be any genre, and can go in any direction. Your characters can be the creators of the robots, or be the robots themselves. The robots can take over the world SKYNET style, or make us peppermint tea – it’s up to you.

How To Enter:

1) Read the full rules here
2) Create your mechanically inspired piece.
3) Email your entry in the body of an email to
4) Follow Robot Contest on Figment.

All entries must be received by August 31, 2011 at midnight EST (that’s Wednesday going into Thursday). All entries will be reviewed by your beloved and esteemed Figmods, who will choose the semi-finalists. There will be polls of semi-final goodness, followed by the Death Match.

Prizes: There will be three (3) winners. The first place winner will receive a Walking King Crab kit, the second place winner will receive a Mega Mantis Building Kit, and the third (random) winner will receive How to Survive A Robot Uprising, so that you can survive when first and second place try to take over the world.

Get building, figs!

67 thoughts on “The Robot Contest

    • Sorry it wasn’t in there! The entries are due August 31 at midnight EST (that’s Wednesday going into Thursday). I’ve also updated the post to reflect that information. Feel free to email me at if you have any other questions.

  1. Sorry, it’s me again.
    I read the full rules and it says legal residents of the states only??
    Please don’t let that be true 🙁
    Is it?

  2. Hmm…I might have to think about this one…I don’t usually write about robots- I abide by the “write what you know” rule, and I know nothing about robots. *looks up robot info on google*

  3. Are you KIDDING ME?

    Why are they only open to US residents?! You never had a problem before with international members?

    What the hell! This is bull!

  4. Can we publish it as a book on figment or only after the contest? I wasn’t sure if that counted as promotion or not since we’re only supposed to send it to the email…

    • We ask that users refrain from uploading their submissions to Figment until after the contest is complete. Afterwards, though, please do! We’d love to see it on the site. 🙂

    • Hi Jill,

      We ask that all content you submit for this contest be of your own creation. You can certainly use older ideas or characters of your own, but other content you draw from (i.e. books or movies) must be public domain. Feel free to email me at if you have any other questions.

  5. @ Maria – You mean every contest is now only open to residents of the US? Why? I think that’s quite unfortunate, and I would appreciate knowing the reason. 🙁

    • Hi Kathleen,

      We completely understand the frustration about limiting the contests to US residents. Unfortunately, these are legal requirements that we are obligated to follow. Please feel free to contact me at if you have any other questions.

  6. Can we modernize old stories, like a revision of Romeo and Juliet or Sleeping Beauty? Or does it absolutely HAVE to be an original idea?


    • Hi Magenta,

      The rules ask that new content is created for each contest entry. You can certainly use older ideas or characters of your own, but if you’re using other characters or ideas from published works, that content must be public domain. Feel free to email me at if you have any other questions.

  7. I am very happy that for the first time (since I’ve been on Figment) a contest is not solely based on hearts, I may actually stand a chance! AWESOME.

  8. It says in the rules “Your characters can be the creators of the robots, or be the robots themselves” but can your characters just be attacked by robots?

    • The decision is up to the contestants – they can really take it any direction they like, as long as they include robots of some kind.

    • Hi Diarmuid,

      Sorry for the delayed response. In order for companies to give out prizes to international contestants, that company must operate as a business in the country of the winner’s residence. For example, if we were to accept Canadian contestants and send prizes to those winners, we would have to operate as a Canadian company and basically have everything in French and English, as well as adhere to Canadian laws in addition to American. I hope this helps answer your questions, and please feel free to email me at if you have any further inquiries.

  9. Wow … so many contests! Hard to keep up. As soon as one’s posted, I enter, then another’s posted and I try to enter that, too! Then, ANOTHER! What is the world coming to?
    Jk, I love these contests! I like that video, too!

      • What if we haven’t seen the Clone Wars? Or anything Star Wars related for that matter? I’d like to do a clone story as well, but I don’t know what a Star Wars clone would be…

        • Hi Gemini,

          Epic mod fail: It occurred to me that the Star Wars clones are technically genetically altered humans, so they wouldn’t even count. You can do something along the lines of a machine clone of a human being (something like Ghost in the Machine or Terminator), but robots/androids/intelligent machines would have to be included in some way. Feel free to email me at if you have any other questions.

  10. Uh oh, can I resend my entry? I forgot a title, and wasn’t sure where to put my name. I put it in the subject line, but would there be a better place?

    • Hi Marie,

      That’s fine! But if you would still like to send it again, just make sure you make a note in the email that the new copy should be used instead.

  11. Just entered! I’m excited to read the entries! I am happy that you picked a prompt that is very open to many types of writing.

    Here’s my question:
    I am addicted to the library, and I often use their computers. Would I be cheating if I voted daily using a library computer? (I don’t exactly understand IP addresses). I don’t intend to vote multiple times (like once at the library, then once at home), just once at the library. I just want to make sure that I do not accidentally cheat…

    I suppose potentially another figgie could vote on the library computer and then if I voted it would be the same (now what are the chances of that?)…darn public computers…Well I’ll play it safe and use my home computer only.

    But I would like to know more about this for future reference… (and sorry for my rambling).

    • Hi Holly,

      The polls for each group of semi-finalists will only be available to vote on for 24 hours. The only time we would be concerned about the same IP voting for a poll is when there are a disproportionate amount of votes coming from that same IP. We do take into account that many of you use libraries or are voting from school computers, but numerous votes coming from the same IP will be looked into, just to be safe. I hope this helps, and please email me if you have any other questions.

  12. *sighs* No more contests for me. I only live in Ontario,Canada, which is four hours away from New York State, by the way, and Figment doesn’t love me. 🙁 I shall be perpetually sad.

    • You should be receiving a confirmation for your entry shortly. Let me know if you have any other questions- esteele at

  13. Hey, I sent in my entry yesterday, followed today, but haven’t received the traditional confirmation email, are those done away with? Or did I mess something up?

    • The confirmation emails are going out in batches, and they tend to slow down on the weekends. look for your confirmation sometime today! Let me know if you need help with anything else- esteele at

    • Hey Sophy-
      No summary needed, but if you’d like to include your Figment username, that would be great! If you send it from the email address you used to sign up for Figment, though, we can figure out who you are 🙂 Let me know if you have any other questions!

  14. Wow! This contest is awesome! I showed the rules to my mom, and she jumped! She loves helping me out with these contests, giving me helpful hints, but I think this time she might just write it! Of course, if she does, I’ll share prize. Man, can’t wait! I’m really glad that it’s an email-in contest, not a voting contest, because if it was a voting contest, I wouldn’t have time to get hearts! Keep an eye out for my story, Figmenters!!
    Oh, and let me get this straight … As long as it includes (a) robot(s), and it’s under/or 1500 words, it qualifies? Just making sure.
    Thanks for making this contest! Real creative!!

  15. Of course, by “Keep an eye out for my story, Figmenters!” I didn’t mean to promote my story in any way. Just saying that I’m excited for this contest, ‘kay?

    P.s. I love you, Figment!

  16. I have another question. There is a Twilight zone episode including a robot. May I write a story about that?As in, the story, but not really? Kind of my take on it? Thanks!

    • Hey Calamity-
      Not sure I understand. Want to shoot me an email at esteele at with more specifics? Thanks!

    • If you sent it from the email address that you used to register with Figment, you’re fine. If you used a different email address, it would be great if you could just shoot us a quick note letting us know who you are!

  17. I am not a number of the area that you are taking your facts, yet wonderful subject matter. We needs to devote quite some time understanding a lot more and also identifying extra. Many thanks outstanding data I had been hunting for this data for my assignment.

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