Few years are left to the word “robot” to celebrate its 100th anniversary, so what better way to open mouth to face this event than to review the most famous fiction robots throughout history.
The word “robot” comes from the Czech word “robota”, which means “bondage” or “slavery” and first appeared in January 1920 in the work of the Czechoslovak dramatist Karel Capek (1890-1938) called ” Rossums Universal Robots, RUR “ , in which the protagonist Harry Domin, creates a company in the middle of the ocean dedicated to the manufacture of creatures with the appearance of human beings with the purpose of using them as cheap labor. Everything goes smoothly until Dr. Gall, head of the Department of Psychology of Universal Robots Rossum, gives soul to these robotic creatures. The outcome is the expected: the androids rebel for being enslaved and declare war on the human race.
Despite the fact that tragedy and violence have often been a recurring theme in robot-related issues, humans have always been fascinated by them. The first stories of robots go back to the ancient China of the third century BC, where a curious description in a text by Lie Zi (one of the three fundamental works of philosophical Taoism), describes an artificial humanoid that could imitate human actions.
As our society and technology advance, so does the creativity and reach of robotic knowledge that has presented robots as more than mere mechanical servers, even as superheroes.
We make a journey through robotics in the world of fiction.
The HK-47 robot appeared in the Star Wars video game ‘Knights of the Old Republic’. No doubt it is a legendary robot in fiction, it was very shocking to see how a robot lined up in the Dark Side of the Force. The truth is that the robotic killer HK-47 was very valuable both for his skill on the battlefield and his hilarious and psychotic comments. For him, all the “bags of meat” were the same.
Created in: 2003
Creator: James Ohlen and Drew Karpyshyn
I could not miss in this R2D2 Star Wars list. We never knew what the little robot said with its sounds, but we needed to talk to him to know his attitude towards life. R2D2 belonged to the defense forces in Naboo serving King Veruna during his term. Subsequently, it was incorporated into the Rebel Alliance. Despite the protests of C-3PO, Luke Skywalker’s astromech droid was in the habit of saving the galaxy.
Created in: 1977
Creator: George Lucas
Tachikomas are arachnid-looking robots with an AI and the ability to carry a human pilot inside. They appeared in Ghost in the Shell, the well-known science fiction manga created by Masamune Shirow and delighted the fans for their curious, loyal character and a very childish personality.
Created in: 1989
Creator: Masamune Shirow
4Johnny 5 (Short circuit)
Number 5 is a fictional character from the endearing film Short Circuit (1986) and Short Circuit 2 (1988), in which a robot initially manufactured for military purposes, is accidentally endowed with consciousness after being struck by lightning. The robot is considered, therefore, alive. It is one of the few robots of the time that did not want to end humanity and showed us its kindest side.
Created in: 1986
Creator: John Badham, SS Wilson and Brent Maddock
5Marvin, the paranoid android
Bender, which we will see later, was not the first robot to fight depression. “I did not ask to be done: nobody consulted me or considered my feelings about the matter, I do not think it has even occurred to them that I can have feelings… After they fabricated me, they left me in a dark room for six months…” . Poor Marvin suffered from chronic depression and boredom because he was originally built as one of the many failed prototypes of the GPP ( Genuine People Personalities ) technology from Sirius Cybernetics Corporation. We saw it in the Galactic Hitchhiker’s Guide and we will never forget this manic-depressive droid.
Created in: 1978
Creator: Douglas Adams
6Robbie (Me, Robot)
The protagonist of the first story in the collection “I, robot” by the great Isaac Asimov, “Robbie”, saves the life of a girl who considers him his best friend. Asimov is one of the authors that most approached us the way in which we see the human-robot interaction. Robbie first appeared in the September 1940 issue of the Super Science Stories magazine with the name ‘Strange Gamemate’. Subsequently, ‘Robbie’ was reprinted with the original title in I, Robot (1950) and in others, but it was the first positronic robot story to be published.
Created in: 1939
Creator: Isaac Asimov
The robotic hero of the Japanese manga even became an animated television show in 1963. In a future world where robots and humans coexisted, Astro Boy was the replacement robot for the deceased son of Dr. Tenma named Tobio (Atom). ), who died in a car accident. To everyone’s surprise, Astro has superior powers and abilities, even with the ability to experience human emotions.
Created in: 1952
Creator: Osamu Tezuka
8Rosie from The Jetsons
Rescued from the scrap heap, Rosie (or Robotina) was a robot-maid. This robotic servant, very dear to all, kept the house of the Jetsons in order, dispensing wisdom with her curious Jersey accent.
Created in: 1962
Creator: William Hanna and Joseph Barbera
This endearing protocol droid, specialist in human cybernetic relations was introduced in Star Wars in 1977. Its stylized gold-plated figure does not go unnoticed. Although it dominates more than six million forms of communication, it tends to be somewhat shy and negative (in terms of survival possibilities, it is your job to look at the half-empty glass). Of course, the Ewoks consider him a god. Inseparable companion of R2D2.
Created in: 1987
Creator: George Lucas
10K-9 (Doctor Who)
K-9 is the name of several robotic dogs of the undying series of British television of science fiction called Doctor Who. The K-9 appeared for the first time in 1977
Created in: 1977
Creator: Bob Baker
Arnold Schwarzenegger was completely in his element during the first two incarnations of The Terminator, giving us one of the best action movies in history. The Cyberdyne Systems T-800 model 1.0.1 is formed by a titanium-tungsten alloy that can do almost anything.
Created in: 1984
Creator: James Cameron
A woman-machine made in the image and likeness of a beautiful school teacher, stars in this classic story. The robot Maria of the immortal film by Fritz Lang became an icon of dystopian vision of the future (which in Germany in 1927 might not have been sufficiently pessimistic). The movie is full of allegories. As a curiosity, the original tape lasted 228 minutes, but there were too many minutes to sell it in American industry. The cut was made. The valuable footage removed for a more popular duration was lost.
Created in: 1927
Creator: Thea von Harbou (novel), Fritz Lang (film)
The only physical representation of artificial intelligence Hal 9000 is a red camera eye. The famous Hal 9000 of 2001: Space Odyssey was one of the first to enter the Robot Hall of Fame. His last appearance was in 3001: Final Odyssey, the fourth and final book in the Space Odyssey series by the brilliant Arthur C. Clarke.
Created in: 1968
Creator: Arthur C. Clarke
The Last Five of the series Battlestar Gallactica have accompanied us for years chapter by chapter of this series that every fan of science fiction should see. The Cylon’s relationship with humanity becomes more complex as disagreements arise within their ranks. These five Cylon were so real and nuanced, that even they did not know they were robots. Your favorite cylon? (Number 6 is the most acclaimed).
Created in: 2004
Creator: Ronald D. Moore and Glen A. Larson
Data from Star Trek: The new generation is an android robot designed by Dr. Noonien Soong. The intelligent android that wanted to be human, was a kind of Pinocchio. I could not tell a lie, but I could not tell a joke either. Data was one of the best Star Trek characters, and Lore his “evil twin”. Lore was virtually identical to Data but with certain internal differences, especially in his behavior.
Created in: 1987
Creator: Gene Roddenberry
Bender Bending Rodriguez from the animated series Futurama is a robot manufactured in Tijuana, Mexico, in the year 2997. It is a sociopath of steel (good, iron, titanium, lead, zinc, dolomite and nickel), which kidnapped the head of Jay Leno and sent his own son to the hell of the robots. But he really just wants to be a famous singer. Bender acts as a reflection of all the defects of the human being in an incredibly funny way.
Created in: 1999
Creator: Matt Groening
Ambitious. Dared. Amazing. Wall-E is a work of art. The Pixar animation film turns out to be all this and more. His deceptively direct tale of two robots in love is cleverly entangled in an ecological story with a rather scathing critique of consumerism and American decadence.
Created in: 2008
Creator: Andrew Stanton
On January 8, 2016, the Tyrell Corporation created Replicator Roy Batty of the Nexus 6 type. This is confirmed in Blade Runner, a film based on the short novel “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?” By Phillip K. Diclk. This combat replicant is one of the most memorable villains in the history of cinema. Incredibly `similar to a human being and programmed to colonize planets, he lived consumed by programmed obsolescence: his life had an expiration date. Nobody will ever forget the actor’s final monologue, entitled ‘Tears in the rain’.
Created in: 1968
Creator: Philip K. Dick
The character of Gort is based on Gnut, the robot protagonist of Harry Bates’ “The Master has died”, considered one of the most influential science fiction works of the golden age of cinema. Gort is a huge robot -interpreted in the original movie by an actor more than 2 meters high- without joints and that seems to be built of a single piece of “flexible metal”.
Created in: 1940
Creator: Harry Bates
Delos is a theme park for adults that offers exotic scenery for fans of the Far West. We found a really charismatic character: the Gunman. A robot with excellent aim, but programmed to lose in all duels. Although everything changes when they begin to suffer unexplained system failures and robots roam freely through the park. The performance of Yul Brinner as the Gunman is sublime.
Created in: 1973
Creator: Michael Crichton
Mazinger Z was the beginning of the mecha genre. Created by the Japanese cartoonist and scriptwriter Gō Nagai, it was born in manga and anime in 1972. It is impossible to forget Kōji Kabuto, the Mazinger Z pilot.
Curiously, the largest robot in the world is as tall as Mazinger Z. Designed by the Japanese company Sakakibara Machinery Works Co. this real Mazinger Z named Mononofu, has a height of 8.5 meters, weighs 7,300 kilograms and is capable to move the torso and the arms and to shoot a colossal pistol according to his body.
Created by: Akira Toriyama
Arale Norimaki is a crazy gynoid with a girl shape of 13 years and with little common sense, created by Dr. Sembei Norimaki of which nobody knows that it is an android. He has extraordinary skills for mathematics, sports, biology, which he combines with his passion for the strange game with excrement. Arale Norimaki. He is a perfect android except that he is myopic and needs to wear glasses. Arale appeared as the protagonist of the series Dr. Slump, as well as a secondary character in the manga and anime of Bola de Dragón.