The computer revolution may have just self-aborted. 
Computing is still as unfriendly as ever with the learning 
curve getting ever longer. PC has become essentially a 
multi-medium typewriter, and the cell phone, a piece of 
functional jewelry. The Internet is turning into a 
centralized, monopolistic information and 
entertainment hub, if not an indoctrination propaganda 
Is it really so hard to get rid of the learning curve in 
computers? Why can't PC yet embark on the task of 
solving all the problems of the world, now it has the 
power of the supercomputers? Could we ever possibly 
get out under the syndicatorial way of the Internet and 
get every PC user to participate in the emerging global 
Well, let's go back to the granddaddy of computers, the 
abacus. But this time we are going to make the abacus 
robotic. That is, making it as powerful as it is simple to 
In a nutshell, ROBACUS represents how best humans 
and computers can interact. The approach is to let the 
computer lead the interaction after the human initiates 
it by defining his objective. This is much more easily 
achieved and more reliable in the long run than the 
conventional practice of having the human leads most 
of the time.
As the user interface of ROBACUS can be all put in plain 
English, this is as good a time to designate the eternally 
eluding "universal language". Based on the vocabulary 
used in the natural language programming and the 
graphic menus, a 1500-English-word set has been 
collected. It is expected this set to be expanded to 
around 3000 words when most general computing 
needs are built into ROBACUS. 
To facilitate all the non-English speaking users, this 
universal language has no grammar and requires no 
pronounciation ability of its users. In this way, the set is 
further simplified by truncating all the words to 
6-alphabet-or-less long. The word count is reduced to a 
minimum, when all the synonyms of a representative 
set of words are avoided. All these is perfectly feasible 
for ROBACUS since, here, all the unambiquity is avoided 
by restricting all communications among users and 
computers to software robots. 
ROBACUS's goal is to build an automated engineering 
analysis environment supported by software generating 
tools and task performing robots. Once users customize 
this environment to satisfy all their needs, routine 
practices such as referencing a file name, using a 
command and editing a program or data will become 
bygone things of the past. 
ROBACUS consists of three functional loops. A small 
inner maintenance loop performs the diagnosis and 
editing of software. A large outer analysis loop 
performs the problem analyses, which include input 
preparation, program execution and output analysis. 
The third loop in the background is simply a streamlined 
and significantly abbreviated Unix environment. In a 
way, ROBACUS is working hard to make this loop 
In order to provide conversational-mode input 
preparation and output analysis, two additional 
capabilities have been developed in the analysis loop. 
They are for the generation of conversational-mode 
preprocessors and postprocessor using software 
automation techniques. 
A unique advantage of ROBACUS is its capability to 
store and share information which it receives from its 
users. Everytime a ROBACUS user execute a task, 
ROBACUS gains knowledge and experience from him 
and stores it for all future users who might also want to 
make use of the information.
The major cornerstones of ROBACUS are natural 
language programming, software robot and OUTERNET. 
They are described below. 


Natural language programming is the most logically 
natural way a user solves a problem by getting the 
computer to do the actual programming in the 
background.  Of course this means shifting all the 
difficult tasks to the computer. Utmost in this is the 
logical flow of coding construction and bookkeeping of 
variables. The end result is letting the computer leads 
the conversation on what the user wants to create. 
The natural language programming program provides 
the human user the comparable computer capabilities 
of speed, memory, discipline and impartiality. 

Software robots are simply recordings of interactions 
between user and computer.  But what makes these 
recordings special is their ability to be played back in a 
controlled manner. Playing back these recordings is 
equivalent to making the robots carrying out the tasks 
documented by the recordings. Once sufficient user 
knowledge and experience are gathered in the form of 
recordings, the computing environment provided by 
ROBACUS will appear to be fully manned by robots 
capable of executing any analysis that users request. 
In ROBACUS, the user is either engaged in the 
generation of a robot or using an existing robot to 
perform a prescribed task. The variety of tasks that the 
robots are capable of performing ranges from writing a 
program to preparing an input model or an output plot. 
As a handy helper, software robots even perform text 
editting for the user. 
Besides documenting what the task is, a software robot 
also performs the task itself in future times, exactly as 
documented in the document. Thusly, ROBACUS shifts 
the focus from "what has been done" to "how it is 


OUTERNET is the NET for all home PCs connected to 
ROBACUS.  Instead of being left OUT of the Internet as 
over-qualified website, now ROBACUS can turn all 
computers into productive members of OUTERNET. As 
only to be expected, OUTERNET supports a new World 
Wide Web of software robots, instead of the 
information glut that the Internet supports. 
ROBACUS connects to all home PCs via such virtual 
network computing software such as VNC or 
Teamviewer.  On the OUTERNET, the WWW of robots 
addresses the issue of how-to rather than what-is. 
The ROBACUS project could be built on a coming 
together of the generations -- the old, previous 
generation and the young, next generation. With letters 
enlarged even for televisions and computer skills 
simplified, many of the retired technical professionals 
can learn to help develope ROBACUS. Without the 
pressure of short-term returns, the focus can be shifted 
to the future. Once all the inner working of ROBACUS is 
made as reasonable as nature intends, the youngsters 
would be introduced by the elders to a virtual world of 
computing that is void of all the idiosyncracies that 
hallmark our irrational world of expediencies.