St. Peter has been an employee at Heaven for about two thousand years, but has never had the opportunity to change the system. “I just never felt like I would make a difference, you know? It’s been…hold on…” Mr. Peter then turned to a growing crowd of people, yelled “Welcome to Heaven!” and opened the gates. “Sorry about that…Anyway, with the incredible growth in human population, there’s been an enormous increase in foot traffic, so I hoped to …hold on…” Mr. Peter then turned to a growing crowd of people, yelled “Welcome to Heaven!” and opened the gates. “Sorry about that…Anyway, I asked God if I could get some researchers to come up here — temporarily, mind you — to try to find a way to reduce my workload. That’s where Carnegie Mellon came in.”
Members of the Robotics Institute have been working on the problem for approximately two months. “We’ve come up with some brilliant ideas, but the implementation is difficult. They’re expecting perfection, and we’re going to give it to them,” said head of the project Brian Wu. “The one we’re investigating right now is to have multiple robotic St. Peters at thousands of gates, but God felt that would cheapen ‘the arrival experience’, so we’re trying to make exact robotic copies of St. Peter.” readme wishes them the best of luck.
Another group was attempting to automate the process. As Brian James explained, “Having an announcement, slow-motion gate opening, and heroic fanfare for each individual has simply proven impractical. You might have noticed that we’re currently testing ‘group entrance’, which appears to be somewhat successful. We couldn’t even talk to St. Peter for more than 3 words at a time before; now we almost get whole sentences.” One student, who was repairing a small motor, suggested placing a conveyor belt under the ‘soul materialization area’. “Instead of St. Peter, we could have a leisurely ride through the gates and past some of Heaven’s most prominent residents — I think Brian 7 suggested a wax museum-type deal.”
Most of the researchers, however, were taking breaks to wander around heaven and reconnect with lost loved ones. “Hey, I might as well take the opportunity while I’m here,” said Brian 2. Others were not so enthusiastic. “I’m an atheist; how do you think I feel?” said one rather anxious researcher. “Every morning I wake up and go to a place that doesn’t exist. I’m beginning to doubt my own existence!”
However, the entire team was positive about the work they were doing. “It benefits both heaven and Carnegie Mellon — we convinced God to put our logo on all of our designs. Free advertising!” said Mr. Wu. When readme pointed out that those who would be seeing the logo would be dead, he replied, “We’ll be working on a satellite campus next semester.” St. Peter, meanwhile, looked happier than he had been in years.