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Rabbit

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Rabbit. Photo by Beth Riley of GeekShot Photography.

Rabbit is the first of a series of automatons built by Peter A. Walter I in the year 1896. Her clockwork mechanisms frequently malfunction, as she has received the least amount of upgrades and still has most of her Victorian parts. She plays the keytar and accordion, and sings during performances with the band "Steam Powered Giraffe". She is portrayed by actress Bunny Bennett.

Design

Rabbit's construction consists primarily of copper, the softest of the metals in the band. She sports vents on each cheek to increase resonance during performance, as well as channel hot air away from her Blue Matter-powered Self Oscillating Utilitarian Lifesource core. Her performance attire typically consists of a black dress and red & black striped leggings and sleeves. She wears a black wig with a metal plate on the side of her head and a top hat with Peter Walter's goggles around the brim. The boiler plate on her chest glows bright with blue matter.

Costume Changes

Rabbit has undergone many costume and make-up changes. She had lost her goggles originally, asymmetrical vest and cheek vents. Currently, actress Bunny Bennett is altering the entire concept of Rabbit's appearance to make the robot into a female-bodied automaton--the zany, loud, Jersey-accented character is going to stay mostly the same. Many more costume changes are forthcoming, especially with Bunny's desire for Rabbit to have a vastly varied wardrobe in the future.

History

Rabbit was built along with The Spine and The Jon in 1896 by Peter A. Walter. She recieved her name when Peter Walter I decided to experiment with the world's first artificial intelligence. Walter pointed to a lab animal in a cage and said, "Rabbit". Walter was surprised when the robot repeated the word back to him. Walter tried pointing to other objects to see if he could teach her more words, but all the robot would say was the word "rabbit".

Rabbit was first used to combat an invasion of Ignatius M. Thadeus Becile's Copper African Elephants on the Nile River in 1897. Rabbit was outfitted with a prototype blue matter laser lens array, a Gatling Gun attachment, and a collapsible buzz saw, which proved to be very useful against the African Elephants. A fourth robot, the Steam Powered Giraffe namesake Delilah, was completed

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Rabbit. Photo by Beth Riley of Geekshot Photography.

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three months after Rabbit, and the automatons rode Delilah to victory in what became known as The Weekend War or The Battle of the Colossi.

After the success in Africa, Rabbit turned to entertainment, and she and Peter Walter I made a premiere appearance at Ralph Benedict's Bayou Music Festival in 1898. Unfortunately, the explosion of Benedict's steamboat ended hope of future performances at the Bayou Music Festival, but around 1915, Rabbit, The Jon, and The Spine turned to performing closer to home. At the first ever World's Fair, the Panama-California Exhibition in Balboa Park, the group became a cohesive whole for the first time, playing under the name "Colonel P.A. Walter's Steam Man Band."

But the musical function of these robots was destined to be short-lived, as America was thrown into the mix of World War I. Rabbit was enlisted along with other Walter robots for search-and rescue missions, and it was not until 1933 (at the Chicago Exposition World's Fair) that the robots were able to perform in any capacity again. By 1941, the United States once again found itself in the grip of global warfare, and Rabbit returned to the battlefield. She saved lives of fellow soldiers even against orders to participate in a bombing raid.

In 1942, catastrophe struck while the robots were still deployed overseas. Rabbit's inventor and long-time friend, Peter Walter I, died in his sleep at Walter Manor in San Diego, California. By the time the robots returned home in 1945, World War II had ended, but so too had Peter A. Walter. Rabbit received Peter's brass goggles after the fact, and wore them round her hat for the next 68 years.

In 1950, Rabbit's Self Oscillating Utilitarian Lifesource was stolen by Ignatius and Norman Becile, long-time inventing rivals of Peter Walter I. An attempt to reverse engineer it resulted in a horrific explosion that tore through the space-time continuum, killing both Peter Walter II and Professor Guy Hottie. Rabbit's power core was eventually restored to her safely. Rabbit was devastated to learn how the cores had been used, and it still weighs on her conscience.

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(Left to Right) Hatchworth, Rabbit and The Spine. Photo by Beth Riley of Geekshot Photography.

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From there, Rabbit went on to participate in classified government operations in Roswell, New Mexico, and in the Vietnam War. During combat, she and the other Walter robots were rendered inoperable, and their chassis went missing from 1965 to 1974. Peter Walter V repaired the robots and returned them to less dangerous entertainment purposes: touring all over as "Colonel P.A. Walter's Steam Man Band." By 2008, the group name was changed to its current form: "Steam Powered Giraffe", after the mechanical giraffe that carried the automatons to victory so many years ago. Rabbit currently performs in the musical group Steam Powered Giraffe, and resides in Walter Manor with the Walters, Beciles, and Walter robots.

Songs

Rabbit provides the primary vocals for

  • On Top of the Universe (Album One, 2009)
  • Ice Cream Parade (Album One, 2009)
  • Brass Goggles (Album One, 2009)
  • Steamboat Shenanigans (2 Cent Show, 2012)
  • Honeybee (2 Cent Show, 2012)
  • The Suspender Man (2 Cent Show, 2012)
  • The Ballad of Lily / Airheart (2 Cent Show, 2012)
  • Ghost Grinder (MK III, 2013)
  • I'll Rust With You (MK III, 2013)
  • Turn Back The Clock (MK III, 2013)

Gender Change

In September 2013, Rabbit's actress Bunny Bennett announced that Rabbit would be changing to the female gender to accommodate Isabella's own gender change. Rabbit made her first appearance as a female automaton in January 2014. There have been many make-up and wardrobe changes to make Rabbit appear more feminine over the past year, and may we all say that she is looking lovely.
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Concept artwork by Isabella Bennett featuring female Rabbit from her Deviantart page.

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