Best robots from literature or movies?

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by Paul_Sjordal, Nov 30, 2003.

  1. Paul_Sjordal

    Paul_Sjordal Supporting Actor

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    This was inspired by the "Robot Tournament" over in Polls, but that seems to be more of a "which robot would beat up all the others?" thing. I'm more interested in discussion.

    What were your favorite robots from books, TV or movies?
    • R. Daneel Olivaw (Foundation series)
      It would be a crime if an Asimov robot didn't top the list. I mean without Asimov we wouldn't be having this discussion. Asimov didn't invent the robot (an Eastern European playwright gets that credit), but robots in sci-fi wouldn't be the same were it not for Asimov's works.
    • Naomi Armitage (Armitage series)
      Armitage is far from great science fiction, but at least it asks a few questions you don't normally get in robot stories, questions like "what are man's responsibilities to its creations if we choose to play God?"

      Plus Naomi gets a few good lines like "If you don't want us why did you make us?" (I think she was commenting on an anti-robot demonstration.)
    • Marvin the paranoid android (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series)
      This character doesn't say much about human nature, but offers plenty of humorous criticism of the A.I. effort.
    • I can't remember its name, but the A.I. program that makes the "art in a box" sculptures from the Neuromancer series deserves a mention here somewhere.
    • David (A.I.)
      I only mildly liked A.I., but at least David explores new territory (love).
    • Just about all the robots in Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep or Blade Runner. The irony is that the robots' torment arises from mankind trying to avoid playing God (and failing).
    • Project 2501 a.k.a. Puppet Master (Ghost in the Shell)
      Rather than asking what it means to be self aware, 2501 asks what it means to be a living species with a decent chance of survival. It is interesting that he considers death as important as reproduction.

    Yeah, I know. I didn't mention the robots from Star Trek nor Star Wars.

    To me the purpose of robots in science fiction is to ask questions about human nature. "How do we define self awareness?" "What are the moral and philosophical ramifications of playing God? Should we play God and create a sentient species?" "How do you construct an adequate moral system? What is an adequate moral system?"

    Although I love Star Wars and Star Trek, I don't feel that the robots in those stories offers anything new to the discussion.

    So who do you like? More importantly, why?
     
  2. JamesHl

    JamesHl Supporting Actor

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    Bender requires no explanation.
     
  3. Edwin-S

    Edwin-S Producer
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    Tima (Metropolis)

    She is unusual because she's a robot and doesn't know it. Part of what makes the movie good is her confusion about who or what she is. The movie, like some of the other ones you mentioned, explores humankind's responsibility towards its creations.
     
  4. Eric_L

    Eric_L Screenwriter

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  5. Eric Kahn

    Eric Kahn Guest

    You missed the Robot from "I, Robot"
    not sure if he even had a name
     
  6. david stark

    david stark Second Unit

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  7. Paul_Sjordal

    Paul_Sjordal Supporting Actor

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  8. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Moderator
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    The Bicentennial Man.
     
  9. Francois Caron

    Francois Caron Cinematographer

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  10. Nick Sievers

    Nick Sievers Producer

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    For those that didn't know, Alex Proyas (Dark City, Garage Days and The Crow) is making a film version of I Robot which is due out next year. I'm not familiar with the source material but anything by Proyas sparks my interest.
     
  11. Dan Lindley

    Dan Lindley Second Unit

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    Data certainly comes to mind as someone who offers lots of lessons about being human, trying to be human, and so forth.

    For that matter, Vulcans offer some insight into how pure logic conflicts with many imperatives that we consider to be human. Does something based on pure logic have meaning in life?

    d
     
  12. John Watson

    John Watson Screenwriter

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    Do Fembots count [​IMG]
     
  13. Kirk Gunn

    Kirk Gunn Screenwriter

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    What about "the robot" from Lost in Space - TV Series. A hysterical robot - now that's original !

    Danger ! Danger Will Robinson ! [​IMG]
     
  14. Craig

    Craig Second Unit

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    Those Cherry 2000 models sure had their advantages (from the movie of the same name).
     
  15. John Watson

    John Watson Screenwriter

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    Don't forget the STEPFORD WIVES [​IMG]
     
  16. AllanN

    AllanN Supporting Actor

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    HAL!
     
  17. JustinCleveland

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    And the New Jedi Order arc of the Star Wars books is a facinating look at the droid mind, with C3P0, since there is a crusading group of aliens that is trying to destroy all machines.
     
  18. John Watson

    John Watson Screenwriter

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    Don't slight Marvin the Paranoid Android (from Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy, I think)

    I also liked the admirable Crichton in Red Dwarf

    BTW Is Hal different than the computer in 2001?

    Yikes, Paul, I had read your thread, earlier, so I hope "slight" in connection with paranoia redeems me

    here I'd put th emoticon fro blush but it isn't on the Quick Edit menu!
     
  19. Jeff Gatie

    Jeff Gatie Lead Actor

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  20. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    Not true, Jeff. That has been dismissed by Arthur Clarke from the get-go. HAL, according to Dr. Clarke, is an acronym formed by the words heuristic algorithmic logic device.

    Great film robots: Gort (The Day the Earth Stood Still) and Robby (Forbidden Planet).

    The replicants in Blade Runner are not "robots" per se, but artificial lifeforms (biological).

    And if you want to meet some of SF's best literary robots, check out Clifford Simak's Hugo Award-winning City. And who could not help but fall in love with Robert Heinlein's domestic robots in The Door Into Summer?
     

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