The *Official* Blog of the Liberty Street Robot Supply & Repair.

20 December 2011

Product Spotlight: Nose SO Bright!

Today is a day for some light.

It's the beginning of Hanukkah (saved you having to Google that AGAIN; you're welcome), very nearly the winter solstice, and the countdown to Christmas is getting VERY real.

We at Liberty Street Robot Supply and Repair know that today's busy consumer has many illumination options. BUT as the Midwest's finest purveyor of robot supplies -- one might say a leading light in the industry -- we believe that we can offer something unique in this field.

With our Nose-So-Bright Seasonal Attachment, you can count on your robot to guide the way through even the darkest of nights. Here's our Staff Robot, Catherine, modelling the Nose-So-Bright:

(Staff Robot Catherine recently received the "chagrined" Emotion Upgrade! Look how well it interfaces with Nose-So-Bright!)

Stop into Liberty Street Robot Supply & Repair TODAY for your very own Nose-So-Bright! Or visit to browse our wares. And from all of the Staff Robots here at 826michigan, may you have a very warm and festive holiday season!

15 December 2011

Product Spotlight: Happy not-quite-Hanukkah!

Hi everybody! It's me, The Other Amy (also known as Amywilson). I'll be guiding you through the wonderful world of the Liberty Street Robot Supply & Repair while Amy Sumerton takes care of The Other Baby (also known as Violet, a real baby).

Today, I'm here to share with you some delightful products and amusing videos. But first, let me reveal a truth some would prefer to hide. Are you constantly confused by the fact that Hanukkah seems to jump around the calendar like a hyped-up frog (perhaps one who croaks for eight nights with only one gulp of pond water?) SECRET: Jewish people are too. I myself am what I like to call "arguably Jewish", and every year I have to Google "when does Hanukkah start?"

If you try it, you will surmise that is a VERY commonly Googled query. They say that Hanukkah, like all other Jewish holidays, is reckoned by the lunar calendar, hence the crazy jumps-around. But who knows what a lunar calendar is? Sounds fishy to me.

In any case, whenever Hanukkah happens to fall, I personally find it a delightful holiday. Some notable musicians agree. If you like to smile, please check out the following videos.

1. The Maccabeats, the a capella group from Yeshiva University, sing a Hanukkah-themed version of the pop song "Dynamite":

2. Matisyahu, the best observantly-Jewish reggae-influenced musician in the biz today, joins the Hanukkah music fray with this brilliantly weird video:

Watched them? Good. Now that you are in a festive mood (because you ARE in a festive mood, right?), lay your eyeballs on THIS festival of lights:

Oh yes, friends, your eyes do not deceive you. Never let it be said that Liberty Street Robot Supply & Repair is not all-inclusive in its vending of robot-themed holiday items! The LED Menorah is one of my personal favorite products in the robot store, simply because it rides a very charming line between Actually Kind Of Practical (there are situations in which lighting Hanukkah candles is ill-advised -- for instance, in a car? Or whilst touring your friend's carpentry workshop?) and Totally Wacky (LED. MENORAH.)

Come on down to Liberty Street Robot Supply & Repair to get your very own LED Menorah! Get it while it's. . .not hot!

(While writing this post I totally forgot when Hanukkah starts and had to Google it AGAIN. I will save you the trouble: sundown on Tuesday, December 20.)

(Also, if anyone wants to start a Judaica a capella group of our very own here at 826michigan, let me know. I'm thinking: The Macca-Bots.)

06 December 2011

Product Spotlight: Create-Your-Own Robot Soul!

What do you get for the bot who has everything? The Liberty Street Robot Supply & Repair has made it so easy to keep your robot updated, upgraded, and fully functional, that's a question more and more robot owners are asking.

Ask no more; we've got just the thing! Get your robot a SOUL. At the robot shop, we've got a number of souls to choose from, each with its own tune, from "Imagine" to "What a Wonderful World" to "Let it Be" to "Stairway to Heaven," "Hava Nagila," and more.

But perhaps that's not enough for YOUR bot. You have a very special bot, and you want to give it a very special soul. Allow us to offer: the Liberty Brand Create-Your-Own Robot Soul:

This clever kit contains everything you'll need to create the perfect, custom-made soul your robot so desperately needs!

Stop into the robot shop today and pick one up! Or, if you don't live near the Liberty Street Robot Supply & Repair, order one ONLINE in our new online store by clicking here. ($5 flat-rate shipping!)

And, as ever, all proceeds benefit the free student programs at 826michigan! It really is the gift that keeps on giving. Support a small, independently owned business and fund an educational non-profit at the same time!

01 December 2011

Third-Annual BotChoir!

Here's an event that really SELLS ITSELF. To prove our point, we'll just describe it to you:
  1. People dress up in robot costumes.
  2. The same people come up with robot-themed versions of holiday carols.
  3. These people in the costumes with the carols practice until they sound good and robotic.
  4. BotChoir is born.
You're intrigued, right? You actively want to see it. And all we had to do was just explain the concept!

Every year, for downtown Ann Arbor's Midnight Madness event, BotChoir performs in front of the robot shop, every hour on the hour between 7 and 10pm. As with MANY things that only happen once a year (your birthday, New Year's Eve), it's a super-special event not to be missed. This year, Midnight Madness happens on Friday, December 2.

So stop by! BotChoir performs at 7pm, 8pm, 9pm, and 10pm on the sidewalk in front of the Liberty Street Robot Supply & Repair. We do a stunning binary version of "Carol of the Bells." We really drag out the "Fa. La. La. La." part of "Deck the Halls" to make it sound more robotic. We delight humans of all ages!

And after you watch BotChoir, pop into the robot shop and finish off your holiday gift purchases. In addition to all the clever and unique gifts you've come to expect from the Liberty Street Robot Supply & Repair, we'll have 20 percent off all of our student publications (an AWESOME gift for anyone!).

Hope to see you there!

22 November 2011

Wake Up, Humans!

Robots are generally not classified as "morning bots" or "not morning bots." They turn on when you program them to, and they work steadily until you program them to stop.

Not so with humans. Humans need alarm clocks and all manner of other accoutrements to help them rise and shine in the morning. As you have come to know and trust the Liberty Brand for a variety of products that fit under the category "helpful to humans" (for example...ROBOTS), it should come as no surprise that, in addition to alarm clocks, we now have an item in stock certain to rewire your brain instantly to "morning person."

We present to you today: Roos Robot Roast. It's more than just something to put into your Liberty Street Robot Supply & Repair mug! It's a delicious and strong brew that will get your engines humming, day or night! Brewed locally by our good friends at Roos Roast, this one-of-a-kind coffee is the only one we know of that:
  • Wakes you and turns you into a fully functioning human, and
  • Helps to provide free tutoring, workshops, in-class support, and more to area students aged 6-18 at 826michigan.
So, essentially, you can FEEL GOOD about the fact that you are FEELING SO GOOD. (Doesn't coffee make you feel SO GOOD? What about enriching the lives of young people? SO GOOD!)

Stop by today and pick up a bag; amaze yourself tomorrow with how much you are able to accomplish. A bag of Roos Robot Roast is just $9, and if you need a stylish robot shop mug to put it in, we'll be happy to supply you with one of those as well for the reasonable price of $7.

Hope to see you soon!

18 November 2011

You Really Have to SEE It in Person!

We're, well, basically kinda famous for our holiday windows around here.

From our first, featuring spinning, ice-skating bots in a "Robot Winter Wonderland":

To the award-winning "The Gearbots":

And last year's "Better Bot's Workshop":

We are sort of getting a reputation.

There are several facts about our windows:
  • They are always very clever.
  • They can be described as "visually arresting."
  • They have a high nose-pressed-to-glass factor.
  • They tend to stop people in their tracks.
  • They can be very, very difficult to photograph.
Our new holiday window falls into all of the above categories, particularly the last one. Turns out five hundred holiday lights, thirty yards of felt, one roll of chicken wire, and one robot very slowly making a snow angel is not an easy thing to capture on film.

We've tried our best, here:

But please stop by the Liberty Street Robot Supply & Repair and see it for yourself, in action! It looks particularly arresting after dark.

And while you're here, you can stock up on robot cord wrappers, robot key covers, robot tea infusers, robot zipper pulls, robot socks, robot hats, robot lunchboxes, robot umbrellas, robot hands, robot backpacks, robot water bottles, and more OH MY SO MUCH MORE.

09 November 2011

The Robot Takeover is Scheduled for Monday, November 21.

We are thrilled to announce that just yesterday we dropped off the disc with our first-ever holiday catalog at the printer! We are even more thrilled to announce that we are hard at work on a matching website that will make it so easy for people from ANYWHERE to do their holiday shopping at the robot shop.

Reasons Why You Should Do Your Holiday Shopping at the Robot Shop
(or the Robot Shop Website)

  1. First and foremost, always: Because ALL PROCEEDS from the Liberty Street Robot Supply & Repair benefit the free student programming at 826michigan. It is -- literally -- the gift that keeps on giving, providing young people in southeastern Michigan with free tutoring, writing workshops, and more!
  2. Where else can you find one-of-a-kind gifts like our Create-Your-Own Robot Soul, Better Bot's Head Massaging Attachment, or Robot Tears? (Answer: Nowhere else. Literally.)
  3. Where else can you find unique and unusual and clever gifts for everyone on your list, like Robot Measuring Cups, Robot Monkey Tissues, a Talking Friend Watch, an Electric Plane Launcher Kit, or a Twirling Spaghetti Fork? (Answer: Honestly, probably a couple of different places. But certainly not all in the same place, and certainly not with all proceeds going to a literacy-based non-profit that offers in-class support every week to thirteen teachers in six local schools.)
Other Things to Know about our Holiday Catalog and Website
  1. The website launches on Monday, November 21.
  2. It will be located at
  3. It features about seventy of our best, most popular, cutest, coolest, most innovative products. Surely something for just about everyone on your list.
  4. 826michigan's super-famous and widely-loved student publications are, of course, included.
  5. It's quick! It's easy! You can knock out most or all of your holiday shopping in a few mouse clicks!
  6. We have flat-rate shipping: Just $5 to anywhere in the continental US!
If we haven't convinced you by now, we don't know what to say. Oh! We'll also have a slew of logo apparel for sale, featuring our beloved logo, including t-shirts, hoodies, onesies, tote bags, and stickers! Now you are convinced!

So mark your calendars: The Robot Takeover (or some version of it) will take place on Monday, November 21. Hope to see you there.

11 October 2011

Cold Weather -- It's On the Way!

It may not seem like cold weather is on the way. It's sunny and 70 degrees AGAIN today in southeastern Michigan. However, our ForeCasterBot 3000 has told us that fall-like weather is indeed coming, and it will absolutely be followed by winter-like weather that will last for "what 'feels like' 1.5 million days." Or so says ForeCasterBot 3000's print out.

Robots have it easy enough. Grease them up with Better Bot's Bot Blubber and send them on their way. But what is a human to do?

As ever, the Liberty Street Robot Supply & Repair has the answer, delivered today in the way of our very stylish, newly-in-stock robot shop hoodies. These pullover, kangaroo-pocketed sweatshirts are as soft and warm as can be, as well as being rakishly adorned with the robot shop logo. Take a look:

826michigan's Program Coordinator Catherine Calabro and Communications Coordinator Amy Wilson wear them well, of course, but extensive robotic studies have shown that it's impossible NOT to!

These sweatshirts come in gray with navy ink and navy with silver ink, as pictured, and can be yours today for just $30 each. Stop by the Liberty Street Robot Supply & Repair and pick one up today! (Or, if you live far away, give us a ring! We'll send one to your very door.)

And be on the lookout for our holiday catalog, coming soon to a robot shop website near you! Hoodies, t-shirts, tote bags, stickers, and more will be available for purchase with a few simple clicks of your mouse.


28 September 2011

Rainy Day Sale!

You've noticed, no doubt, that there's been an usual amount of rain lately. This is disconcerting and/or troublesome for two things in particular:
  1. The moods of human beings
  2. Robots
People tend to get glum when it's rainy, and robots, well, they tend to rust.

It is with this in mind that we offer the best solution we could come up with this gray, rainy morning (we are human, after all): A sale on rainboots!

For a limited time, you can get these fun, functional, and fashionable Steven Joseph rainboots for 20 percent off the regular price. That makes them a steal at $23 a pair!

We currently have children's sizes 10-12 in stock. These sizes will fit children, of course, but are also guaranteed to fit most Type A23-X34 standard robots. (I'm sure we don't need to mention the havoc that rusty ped-joints can cause!) They won't last long (the sale won't either!) so hurry in today and pick up a pair!

And, as ever: ONWARD ROBOTS.

08 September 2011

New Window!

Stop by the Liberty Street Robot Supply & Repair and say hello to Spider, an industrial robot who has taken up residence in our front window for the next couple of months. This charming fellow comes to us by way of the fine people at FANUC Robotics.

Just what does he do? He sorts and moves gears, and then does the robot version of a "happy dance." He also intrigues and delights passersby of all shapes and sizes. Possibly even you!

Stop by, say hello, and check out Spider and our new fall line of robot goods. Hope to see you soon!

20 July 2011

HURRY HURRY to the Robot Art Fair!

It is with great urgency that I write this post. Our second-annual Robot Art Fair is in full swing upstairs. And when I say "full swing," I mean: Things are selling. And when I say, Things are selling, I mean: Somethings are in danger of selling out!

Our talented artists gave us, in some cases, very limited quantities of their artwork, and those just-mentioned limited quantities are being snatched up as I type this. So if you are itching to get some robot onesies or cards or paintings or one-of-a-kind drawings or papercrafts, hurry hurry!

If you are in the market to buy one of Cre Fuller's magnificent robot lamp creations, you don't have to hurry quite as much, as we have quite a few:

We also have a reasonable amount of stock for Deets' amazing robots, including a bunch of stellar new stuff, like hanging tube bots, robo-octopus plaques, and more! Deanne (of Deets) and I were just talking yesterday about how the first Robot Art Fair was one of her earliest shows, right about when she had just begun to make her adorable bots. It's been a big year for Deets! Come on in and see what we mean:

The talented Dylan S of Intl Robot brought bins and bins of robot t-shirts in all sizes, as well as hoodies and bags. His designs are fun and unusual, and sure to get you compliments wherever you go wearing one (I speak from experience). This is not me (or my shirt), but take a look:

The Robot Art Fair runs from 12-6pm today through Saturday. Twenty percent of proceeds go to the free student programs at 826michigan. In addition to artwork, we have Spider, an industrial robot, on display, and a slew of robot-themed activities for the whole family, including story starters, robots to color, robots to draw, other writing activities, and more!

07 July 2011

Art Fair Stock-up -- Cash in Early!

Greetings, friends!

Surely all you locals are well aware that the Ann Arbor Art Fair is just around the corner. In fact, exactly two weeks from today, we will be "in the throes" of it, as it were. And it must come as no surprise that local businesses tend to have LOTS of traffic that week, and so they stock up. You'll be pleased to know that we are no different, and you might be even more pleased to know that we have already loaded up the store with said stock!

Consider it a nod to our dear townies. Come in this week for all sorts of new robo-goodies, like bibs, lunchboxes, plates, pencil holders, thermoses, utensils, duck speakers, and more; as well as shelves filled with your old favorites, like rainbow makers, R2-D2 watches, universal adapters, robot measuring cups, ice cube trays, and robot rubber duckies.

We've also done what we are referring to as a quasi-redesign, which is to say that Jason came in late one night and moved some heavy stuff around:

Stop by and let us know what you think!

And join us during Art Fair for our second-annual Robot Art Fair! We'll have local artists selling robot-themed shirts, lamps, cards, onesies, drawings, and more! We'll also have fun and easy robot art projects for young people, AND a sneak peek of Spider, an actual industrial robot (also featured in the upcoming Spiderman movie), who'll be starring in a robot store window in August!

Robot Art Fair is Wedneday, July 20 through Saturday, July 23 from 12pm to 6pm. Twenty percent of all sales go to the free student programs at 826michigan. Robot Art Fair also features free air conditioning and bathrooms.

31 May 2011

Call for Applications: Second-Annual Robot Art Fair!

We are currently seeking artists who make robotic wares for our second-annual Robot Art Fair! The Robot Art Fair will happen just behind the curtains of the Liberty Street Robot Supply & Repair in the 826michigan writing lab during the Ann Arbor Art Fair, which runs from Wednesday, July 20 through Saturday, July 23 this year. From robot t-shirts to sculptures to lamps and more, we hope to make this year's Robot Art Fair even bigger than last year's.

Robot artists or artists who make robot art should contact store manager Amy Sumerton to submit at amy[at]826michigan[dot]org for more details. Help us stage a ROBOT TAKEOVER OF ART FAIR. I mean, why not?

17 May 2011

Happy Birthday to US!

Hey there. It seems like just yesterday that we opened our little robot shop. I remember it well. (Sort of. I mean, as well as you can remember any period of time in which you slept two hours a night for a week or two.) I remember taking naps on the floor at 826 in the wee hours of the morning. I remember heated debates about what would and would not "water down the concept of a robot supply shop." I remember a TON of people showing up on opening day, and I remember the robot dance-off we had in the alley.

But you know what? It wasn't just yesterday. In fact, it was three YEARS ago.

Which means: It's our THIRD ANNIVERSARY, right now, today! To celebrate, we are doing something straight-up crazy. We are discounting every single thing in the store by 30 PERCENT. For a store that has, literally, NEVER had a sale, this is kind of a big deal.

So stop by today for 30 percent off t-shirts, Better Bot's Positronic Brains, potato clocks, all manner of wind-ups, robot rainboots, hoodies, and more! We're open until 8pm.

It's our way of saying THANK YOU to our wonderful community. You have all supported us and laughed at us and told your friends about us and visited us and, well, just generally gotten the joke. Proceeds from the Liberty Street Robot Supply & Repair cover the rent and utilities for 826michigan. And that's ALL you guys. Thanks so much! And happy birthday to us!

06 April 2011

Back in Stock: DEETS!

Some of you may be familiar with the delightful little bots made by the Ann Arbor based artist known as Deets. We here at the Liberty Street Robot Supply & Repair are all circuits buzzing because she just dropped off a new shipment, a veritable ARMY of unique little robots!

Support local art! Support the programs of 826michigan! Support robots! All for the low price of $16 a pop. Hope to see you soon!

01 April 2011

Our Window -- In Chicago!

Many of you have walked by the Liberty Street Robot Supply & Repair and seen our new window, a community art project of robot drawings:

It's been a huge hit. Scores of people have admired, commented on, and enjoyed the hundreds of drawings created by attendees of 826michigan's Mittenfest V.

If you happened by last week, you may have noticed that they were gone. That's because they took a little trip to Chicago to attend the Automate 2011 Conference. They were included in a display about robots. Pretty neat, don't you think? You can see them and learn more about the event (and robots) by watching this video, made by The Very Idea's Christine Gardner. We were thrilled to be included.

The display is back, and back up. Stop by this weekend and check it out!

22 March 2011

It's Spring! We are Celebrating with TONS of New Products!

Winter is a particularly difficult season for robots. Think about how cold you get when it is freezing outside. Now imagine if you were made of metal. See what I mean?

Every spring, we celebrate the coming of warmer and wetter weather with a slew of new stuff. Check it out!
  • Robot Rainboots (sizes 10, 11, 12)
  • Robot Umbrellas
  • Better Bot's Extendable Robot Arms (goes to 20 inches!)
  • DbA's Pair of Musical Robot Lungs
  • Liberty Brand 50-Year Calendar Upgrades
  • Robot Corkscrews
  • DbA's Robot Heartlight Implants
  • Robot Bottle Buddies
  • Robot Lunch Sacs
And then there are THESE little beauties:

That's right, Robo Cupcake holders and a robot that actually breaks down into measuring cups.

And also these:

Robot Headphone Splitters, which pair nicely with our new LED Flashing Ear Buds. We also have accordion USB speakers, solar radios, solar lamps, lava lamps, and more!

Stop on in! It's a whole new Liberty Street Robot Supply & Repair!

03 March 2011

Robot Takeover Closer Than Ever!

Well, hello there, robots, cyborgs, and robot owners and lovers alike. We come to you today with exciting tidings. This week, 826 was featured on the NBC Nightly News, and -- better yet, in our opinions -- there was a picture of the robot shop. Broadcast to, like, thousands and thousands and thousands of people. Pretty awesome:

You can watch the story about 826 and its impact on young people here.

Either way, mark it in your calendars as an important day: March 1, 2011: The day we took a HUGE step forward in our journey toward Complete Robot Takeover.