Creator: Paul Verhoeven, Edward Neumeier, Michael Miner
Creator (fictional): Omni Consumer Products
Voice: Jon Davison
The ED-209 was modeled after American sports cars and has mounted machine guns for arms. The growl in his voice was created by playing a jaguar’s growl backwards. Just watch out for his “glitch.” ED-209, we comply, we comply!—Sean Doyle
Creator: Willow Garage
Robot + beer = awesome. The beer-fetching robot was the part of Willow Garage’s third annual Hackathon, concepting on a Monday and demoing on a Friday. Using the web-based Beer Me app, anyone in the office can now order up one of several different bottles of beer that the PR2 can identify, deliver and uncap.
Creator: James Cameron
Actor: Lance Henriksen
The executive officer of the Sulaco is an android that even Ellen Ripley comes to love. He secures a spot on our list for rescuing Ripley and Newt as the atmospheric processing station explodes only to be ripped in half by the Queen Alien. Not to mention the fact that, despite his reduced state, he still keeps Newt from being sucked out of the airlock along with the Queen. – Wyndham Wyeth
Creator: DDB Chicago
Who would have thought that a beat-dropping, robotic pink bunny would become such a recognizable icon? Good work Energizer Bunny. We’re glad you keep going, and going, and going—long after we’ve forgotten the Duracell Bunny you were parodying.—Sean Doyle
Creator: Jackson Publick
Creator (fictional): Dr. Jonas Venture Sr.
H.E.L.P.eR. (Humanoid Electric Lab Partner Robot) assists Brock Samson of Team Venture look after Hank and Dean Venture—the sons of Thadeus “Rusty” Venture, an somewhat incompetent scientist and owner of Venture Industries. Even though H.E.L.P.eR. is capable of performing great feats, the Venture family commonly treats him like a broken toaster.—Nathan Spicer
Creator: Insomniac Games
Voice: David Kaye
Ratchet’s robotic companion strives to save the galaxy from evil and such. His charming wit and British accent set him apart from most video game sidekicks, serving as both an engaging character and a valuable part of the game’s mechanics.—Bo Moore
Creators: Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo and Thomas Bangalter
These robot twins have been making us humans dance since their hit debut Homework. Most recently they wrote an entire movie soundtrack, which some would say was the best part of the entire film. Keep up the good work twins.—Sean Doyle
Creators: John Badham, S.S. Wilson and Brent Maddock
Voice: Tim Blaney
“Los locos kick your ass. Los locos kick your face. Los locos kick your balls into outer space!”
Creators: Robert Kinoshita and Irwin Allen
Actor: Bob May
“Danger! Danger, Will Robinson!” The Robinsons couldn’t even bother naming the Class M-3 Model B9, General Utility Non-Theorizing Environmental Control Robot, even though he could play the guitar. Robert Kinoshita also designed one of the first anthropomorphic machines in film: Robby the Robot from Forbidden Planet.
Creator: Dennis DeYoung
Part of a grander rock opera, persecuted musician Kilroy escapes from prison by hiding in the empty shell of robot janitor. Domo arogito, indeed.
Creator: Douglas Adams
Actors: Stephen Moore and Alan Rickman
Bender wasn’t the first robot to struggle with depression. “I didn’t ask to be made: no one consulted me or considered my feelings in the matter. I don’t think it even occurred to them that I might have feelings. After I was made, I was left in a dark room for six months… and me with this terrible pain in all the diodes down my left side. I called for succour in my loneliness, but did anyone come? Did they hell. My first and only true friend was a small rat. One day it crawled into a cavity in my right ankle and died. I have a horrible feeling it’s still there…”
I had no idea what my daughter was talking about when she signed up for Lego Robotics at her school, but the Saturday this fall I spent watching her compete in a FIRST Lego League meet was priceless. She and her classmates programmed the NXT to complete tasks and were judged on their success.
Creator: Isaac Asimov
The protagonist of the first short story “Robbie” in Asimov’s I, Robot collection saves the life of a little girl who thinks of him as her best friend. Asimov did as much as anyone to shape the way we think about human-robot interaction.