When Googler Dan Morrill lacked icons for his internal Android presentation before the OS was announced in 2007, he whipped up four little bots to spice things up.
His four mascots, made in Inkscape, provide a little look at what could have been had Google gone with these scary ADHD Teletubby Hypno-droids instead of the cool, calm Droid we know and love today.
The story's quite sweet, posted by Morrill himself on Google+. Are you sitting comfortably? Then we'll let him begin.
"In the before time, in the long long ago (which is to say, 2007), Android had not yet launched; publicly, it was all rumors. We were working harder than you could possibly imagine on the initial announcement on 5 November and the SDK launch a week later.
"My job was developer relations, but I took a much-needed break of a couple hours and spent some quality time with Inkscape to create these... things.
"See, we were prepping for an internal developer launch (meaning, we were going to ask Googlers to start fooling with the APIs and give us early feedback), and I had no eye candy for the slides we were putting together. Hence these guys.
"They had a brief flurry of minor popularity amongst the team - enough to pick up the nickname "Dandroids", anyway.
"But then Irina Blok (as I recall) presented her work: the bugdroid we all know and love. Funny how the professional work is of vastly higher quality than the amateur, isn't it? ;) Even so, these guys have the distinction of being the first proposed mascots for Android (that I'm aware of, at least.)"