The I, Robot rumor that collectors have passed around for years is that due to the arcade game's unpopularity (the title is now recognized by many as years ahead of its time), Atari was able to place close to half of its production run in U.S. arcades.

The remaining machines were allegedly dumped in the Pacific Ocean for some reason or another -- some claim that similar to Atari's E.T. landfill urban legend, the company wanted to rid itself of the machines -- contributing to the rarity of I, Robot cabinets today.

"Not true," says former Atari designer Russel "Rusty" Dawe, according to an interview with Coinopspace transcribed via Rotheblog. "Total myth. I would have LIKED to dump about 500 I, Robot controls into the Pacific -- they were a nightmare, but that didn’t happen..."

As with titles like Road Runner and Escape from the Planet of the Robot Monsters, I, Robot used a hall-effect joystick using two sensor devices based on Edwin Hall's magnetic-electric principle discovered in 1879.

(The above joystick design is from the Escape from the Planet of the Robot Monsters setup.)

Dawe went on to share an issue he experienced with the game's Hall Effect controls at a particular location:

"We had an arcade in Seattle we were testing and it was playing itself sometimes! Turned out the arcade was next to a scrap yard with a monster crane magnet -- was playing the game from 100 yards away! Turned out the control needed to be separately grounded (and shielded) to the PC board. All the production controls that used the hall-effect did that after that test.

Not sure which arcade, but we kept exchanging controls with them for months and never found the problem until they explained where they were located. Finally, the mechanical group just grounded the shit out of it and it started to work."

The entire interview includes lots of gems like this on other titles Dawe worked on, such as Cloak & Dagger, Paperboy, and Firefox -- dozens of mysteries finally solved!