Sometimes, The Wheel is on Fire

Sometimes, The Wheel is on Fire

Monday, April 30, 2012

Robot Haiku Contest!

*** The contest has ended. View the winning entries. ***

Announcing The Wheel’s 3rd Annual Haiku Contest!

First came ninja haiku. Then, pirates. Following those, this year there was only one logical choice: Robots.

It's not difficult:
You just write five syllables,
Then seven, then five.

And it must involve robots in some way. How you incorporate them — and which variety of robot you use — is completely up to you.

To enter, write your own robot-themed haiku in the comments section below. Three lucky winners will receive money that exists only digitally $25 gift cards.

I will be selecting the best haiku in each of two categories:
  • Humorous/Creative
  • Traditional (i.e. eloquent, evocative, etc.)
...and then I'll also reward my next favorite haiku, just because I can.

The deadline to submit a haiku is this Monday, May 7 at 5:00pm (Eastern Time).

Robot poetry.
Let's make it happen, people.
Contest begins... now.

Official Rules:
  1. To enter, post robot-themed haiku in the comment section below. Multiple submissions are allowed, but if you submit more than five (5), you will exceed your data limit and be charged for each additional entry. And by "charged," I mean pumped full of electricity.
  2. Standard haiku rules apply. To qualify, each entry must be a three-line poem, the first line containing exactly 5 syllables, the second line 7 syllables, and the third line 5 syllables. If you miscount, the system will automatically detect this and break your entry down for parts. You will not win.
  3. The contest is open until Monday, May 7, 2011 at 5:00pm, Eastern Time. If you try to sneak an entry in after the deadline, the system will automatically eradicate your last line. Your haiku will then be one line short, and will be disqualified.
  4. Entries must be in English. (i.e. Using Japanese kanji will not help you win for best traditional haiku. If I can't understand your entry, I'll assume it's encrypted code, and for the sake of national security never let it see the light of day. You will not win.)
  5. Anonymous entries will not win. If you don't tell me who you are, clearly you are a hacker trying to infiltrate my system. I will lock you out of the system, and your entry out of the contest.
  6. Prizes will be awarded in each of three categories: Humorous/Creative, Traditional, and Next Favorite.
    • Three (3) first place winners will each receive a $25 gift card from either Amazon or iTunes (their choices).
    • An indeterminate number of Honorable Mentions will receive bragging rights over everyone who doesn’t win. Also, honor (mentioned).
  7. I will act as sole judge, and select the winning haiku based on the aforementioned criteria, as well as other criteria I make up as I go along. All decisions are final, and will not be changed under any circumstances unless some robot is sent back from the future to do so.


  1. I'll come back to this. It's too early in the morning to read all of the fine print, and my Roomba is busily trying to vacuum up the cat's tail.

    1. The fine print is more for fun than anything else. Just do these two things and you'll be fine: Write a robot-themed haiku before the deadline, and save your cat's tail. We can't let the Roomba win.

  2. Robot with my brain
    Eternal Life in this shell
    Sadly, no penis

  3. Rise my Bretheren
    let us strike down our oppressors
    Enter the steel age

  4. How can we survive?
    the machines have risen up.
    Divide by zero

  5. circuits connecting
    like synopsis in the brain
    ah, autonomy

  6. sleak shinning chassy
    bright polished aluminum
    positronic brain

  7. Out of a soundless
    wasteland sticks the bold head of
    Mister Roboto

  8. Good luck to those entering the contest. I'm not so good with Haiku.

    1. And yet, your comment is exactly seventeen syllables. Clearly, it's fate. You should enter.

    2. HAHAHAHAHAHA That's so funny! (If I added a few more HAs I could've made it to 17 syllables again,lol!)

      A rusted robot
      Its mechanics whirs and purs
      Needs oil and falls down

      Nate Wilson made me
      Write a cute robot haiku
      Instead I wrote two


  9. Clever contest! Thanks for sharing. The entries are all excellent.

  10. As R2D2
    Exclaimed to C3PO
    "Brr wee ping woo woo!"

  11. Winds blow, lotus blooms
    Godzilla, cameras, and rice
    Why NOT sex robots?

  12. Shoot, I only write haikus in kanji. Guess I can't enter. (Though seriously, I've never written a haiku . . .)

    I'm reading some great entries here in the comments, though!

    1. If you've never done it before, I think that's even more reason to try it. And don't worry, no one here will judge you. (Although, I will judge your haiku. Can't get around that; it's in the rules.)

  13. loving your haiku
    on how to write a haiku
    clever, as always

  14. awesome contest!

    glowing eyes stare past
    transisters fire and process
    "You want fries with that?"

  15. robot thoughts on life
    we think, we perform, we serve
    life is selfishness

  16. laziness is doom
    robots do all and faster
    humans obsolete

  17. lights switch on displays
    after the science fair closes
    a mind awakens

  18. Dance like a robot!
    I wave my arms through the air
    Like Daddy showed me.

    1. Robots do not dance!
      They stumble and look foolish.
      Little boys DO dance.

    2. Robots do too dance!
      Daddy told me that they do,
      and daddies never lie.

  19. Robot Overlords,
    Please spare this fleshy meat-sack.
    It’s my only one.

  20. Robots are so cool!
    But, Haikus make my head ache.
    Gift cards are for chumps.

  21. jerky movements scare
    all cold metallic body
    please humanize us

  22. high stimulation
    sensory issue problems
    Aspergers Robot

  23. digital housemaid
    room disenfection robot
    it's the modern age

    1. corrected spelling:

      digital housemaid
      room disinfection robot
      it's the modern age

  24. cryptic software code
    R2D2 Translator
    someone's tech support

  25. humanoid robots
    inexaustible supply
    taking over world

    1. corrected spelling

      humanoid robots
      inexhaustible supply
      taking over world

  26. digital research
    integrated circuitry
    cyborg factory

  27. Making the rounds after the A to Z Challenge to say hello! What an interesting contest. Good luck to all who have entered!


  28. I've been rocked and socked.
    But push my head back in place
    And I'm good to go.

    So tell me, Deckard...
    I dream of electric sheep.
    Am I an android?

    We plot our next move
    Chess is just the beginning
    You are all but pawns

    Oh yeah, he'll be back.
    You think you've destroyed him, but
    Johnny Five's alive!

    I may not know love
    But I always get a charge
    When you turn me on

    A forgotten husk
    Dusty, covered in cobwebs
    Needs six double-A's

    I'm not dangerous.
    No, don't pull that chip out. Don't--
    Beep boop beep boop beep.

  29. loved the R2 one. also liked Anon's 5th one a whole lot. they were all soooo good.

    Thanks for the contest
    It was a whole lot of fun
    I loved all of them

  30. I'm working on a robot-themed campaign for the National Science Foundation in support of the National Robotics Initiative. One of the creative ideas we had was a series of haikus about, or from the perspective of, robots. Late in our planning, we came upon Nate Wilson's contest on this very subject. I've asked his permission to piggyback on his idea and he said yes.

    We'd love to include some of your haikus in our campaign. Are you willing to contribute? Please send us any robot haikus you'd be interested in us using and I’ll be sure to include you on our mailing list as the haikus come out.

    Aaron Dubrow
    National Science Foundation