King Features proudly announces that the lead character in the digital-themed comic strip, BLEEKER: THE RECHARGEABLE DOG, has been named the official mascot of the third annual National Robotics Week. During National Robotics Week, a week-long series of events and activities are held across the United States aimed at increasing public awareness of the growing importance of “robo-technology” and the tremendous social and cultural impact that it will have on the future of the United States.
Cartoonist Jonathan Mahood will be writing National Robotics Week into his strip in a weeklong series that will run from April 7-15. Since the aim of National Robotics Week is to get more students interested in robotic technology, this year’s National Robotics Week theme is “Recharging Our Future.”
BLEEKER: THE RECHARGEABLE DOG is a funny strip about the friendship that exists between a boy and his dog, all with a contemporary 21st century twist. Skip Smalls is your average 10-year-old boy, whose parents decide to get him a dog for his birthday. Skip’s parents figure it is best for him to first learn about the responsibilities of pet ownership with a rare breed of dog. Bleeker is a rechargeable dog—he comes with his own battery pack and touch screen belly. Bleeker is a walking cell phone, music player, camera, printer, smoke detector, global positioning system and scanner all rolled into one nifty device. He is like a typical canine, in that he can play fetch and do tricks like any other dog…except he needs to be recharged at the end of the day. BLEEKER: THE RECHARGEABLE DOG features a cast of additional robots, some of which readers may find familiar.
National Robotics Week is organized by an Advisory Council, founded by iRobot Corp. and The Technology Collaborative, a Pittsburgh-based non-profit economic development organization. They are joined by Adept Technology; the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI); AUVSI Foundation; Botball (KISS Institute for Practical Robotics); Carnegie Mellon University; Carnegie Science Center of Pittsburgh; FIRST® (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology); Infamous Robotics; Innovation First International; Instructables; Massachusetts Technology Leadership Council; Museum of Science, Boston; Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago; RoboGames; Robotic Industries Association (RIA); The Tech Museum in Silicon Valley; Stanford University; University of Massachusetts Lowell; and other leading companies, universities, museums and organizations across the United States.
Bleeker will find himself amid familiar company during the many scheduled nationwide events, which will feature plenty of opportunities for the public to interact with robots through demonstrations and hands-on learning activities. These events include a “Robot Block Party” hosted by Instructables at the Autodesk Gallery in San Francisco on April 9, as well as additional robot-themed events at Stanford University on April 12, the Museum of Science in Boston on April 14, and the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago on the weekends of April 7-8 and April 14-15. The Museum of Life and Science in Durham, NC is hosting a “Robot Rumble on April 14.
“I am truly honored to have BLEEKER associated with National Robotics Week. Robotics provides exciting and innovative ways for students to learn science, technology, engineering and math. If Bleeker can play an active role in making these fields of study more accessible and interesting to students, I’m absolutely thrilled,” said Mahood.
In 2010, BLEEKER: THE RECHARGEABLE DOG was signed by King Features Syndicate for worldwide syndication. The strip first launched online in July 2006 and made its’ comics page debut in newspapers in the U.S. and Canada in January 2011. BLEEKER: THE RECHARGEABLE DOG is distributed to newspapers, websites and mobile applications by King Features Syndicate, and can be read daily on more than 100 Comics Kingdom sites, DailyINK.com and Bleekercomics.com.
For a full listing of National Robotics Week events taking place around the United States, please visit www.nationalroboticsweek.org or on Twitter (@roboweek or #roboweek) and Facebook (www.facebook.com/roboweek).
About Jonathan Mahood After years of sending cartoon submissions to newspaper syndicates (and receiving the corresponding rejection letters) Jonathan decided to launch his first comic online in July 2006 called Hoover: The Rechargeable Dog. The strip combined his two favorite companions: his dog and his iPod. In 2007, the comic was picked up by GoComics and Mahood renamed it Bleeker, after his grandfather's middle name. Since then the comic has built a strong daily audience, attracted interest for an animated television series and has been translated weekly for Die Zeit, Germany’s largest national weekly newspaper. In 2010, BLEEKER: THE RECHARGEABLE DOG was signed by King Features Syndicate for worldwide syndication. Jonathan, his dog and his iPod, live in a small town north of Toronto.
About King Features Syndicate King Features Syndicate is a member of Hearst Entertainment and Syndication Group, which combines Hearst Corporation’s network partnerships, television programming activities, and newspaper syndication and merchandise licensing operations. King Features is the world’s premier distributor of comics, columns, editorial cartoons, puzzles and games, distributing in print and online some 150 features to nearly 5,000 newspapers and other outlets around the globe. It is one of the largest and most experienced organizations in merchandise licensing and entertainment. It represents some of the most recognizable global brands, including Popeye the Sailor Man, Olive Oyl and Betty Boop. For more information, please visit http://www.kingfeatures.com.
**Disclosure: This post is for informational purposes only. All opinons are my own. No compensation was received.