Fred Goodwin, CMA
2007-08-06 19:59:39 UTC
July 25, 2007
To coincide with the release of Michael Bay's epic Transformers movie
we rate the most celebrated 'artifical people' in movies
We selected the fifty most memorable robots in film and rated them in
four different categories:
Plausibility (meaning how likely it would be that, with advances on
currently existing technology, such a device could be built)
Coolness (just how well designed, shiny or generally well-appointed
the robot appeared to be)
Dangerousness (scoring not only on built-in weaponry, but the robot's
eagerness to use it)
Comedy Value (how effective the robot is at providing light relief in
the film in which it appears)
We then weighted the results according to an arbitrary scale and mixed
a few select robots who, while immensely popular, have not as yet
appeared in a feature-length production. See if you can find them.
There are also a number of popular choices who didn't make the cut
because (as best as we can determine from their fictitious setting)
they aren't true robots: Read about them here.
We've also linked wherever possible to a trailer or representative
clip of every movie. We would remind parents and guardians that not
all of these clips are suitable for younger viewers.
50: Andrew Martin (Bicentennial Man)
Andrew's model number is NDR-114. This is thought to be a tribute to
Stanley Kubrick, who used the lucky number in several of his films for
example A Clockwork Orange and Dr. Strangelove
Plausibility: 8 Coolness: 0 Dangerousness: 0 Comedy Value:0
49: Daryl (D.A.R.Y.L)
"He is a Data Analyzing Robot Youth Lifeform. Daryl is an experiment
in artificial intelligence. All I can say is he was never meant to
leave here and he was certainly not to be with people like yourself"
Plausibility: 8 Coolness: 0 Dangerousness: 1 Comedy Value: 0
48: Twiki (Buck Rogers in the 25th Century)
Mel Blanc, the voice of Twiki, also provided voices for hundreds of
cartoons, including the Buck Rogers parody Duck Dodgers and the Return
of the 241/2th Century
Plausibility:0 Coolness: 0 Dangerousness: 0 Comedy Value:10
47: Rodney (ROBOTS)
"He's got your moms eyes and my dads nose. I knew we were smart to
save those parts"
Plausibility: 0 Coolness: 1 Dangerousness: 0 Comedy Value: 9
46: Preston (A Close Shave)
The evil robotic dog is named for director Nick Park's home town
Plausibility: 0 Coolness: 0 Dangerousness: 4 Comedy Value:10
45: C3-PO (Star Wars franchise)
C3-PO gets his name from the map grid reference of George Lucas' local
Plausibility:3 Coolness:3 Dangerousness:0 Comedy Value:9
44: Max 404 (Android)
"Maggie! This is my only chance. I'm to be phased out as soon as
Cassandra's on her feet. Doctor'll probably turn me into a sprinkler-
head for the greenhouse"
Plausibility:6 Coolness: 2 Dangerousness: 7 Comedy Value:0
43: Vectrocon robot spiders (Runaway)
Runaway was expected to be the science-fiction smash of 1985 but was
outperformed from the left-field by a low-budget movie called The
Plausibility:3 Coolness:4 Dangerousness:6 Comedy Value:2
42: House Robots (Sleeper)
"Is he housebroken or is he going to leave batteries all over the
Plausibility: 5 Coolness: 0 Dangerousness:0 Comedy Value: 10
41: Eve VIII (Eve of Destruction)
"I'd kill to have that jacket"
Plausibility: 1 Coolness: 5 Dangerousness: 10 Comedy Value:0
40: Mystery philanthropic robots (Batteries Not included)
"This is the '80s! Nobody likes reality any more"
Plausibility: 8 Coolness: 2 Dangerousness: 3 Comedy Value: 3
39: Hector, Demigod 3 series (Saturn 3)
"I am not malfunctioning. You are"
Plausibility:3 Coolness:5 Dangerousness:8 Comedy Value:2
38: Maria (Metropolis)
Arguably the most influential, and certainly one of the most expensive
sci-fi films ever: Some sources put the total cost at four times the
original budget. The final cost of the film was in the region of 7
million marks (aprroximately $200 million today)
Plausibility:0 Coolness:10 Dangerousness: 8 Comedy Value:0
37: Terminator Series X (Terminator 3, Rise of the Machines)
"She'll be back"
Plausibility: 3 Coolness: 6 Dangerousness: 10 Comedy Value: 0
36: Robot police force (THX1138)
"Everything will be all right. You are in my hands. I am here to
protect you. You have nowhere to go. You have nowhere to go"
Plausibility:7 Coolness: 6 Dangerousness: 7 Comedy Value:0
35: Johnny 5 (Short Circuit)
"What if it goes out and melts down a bus load of nuns? How would you
like to write the headline on that one?"
Plausibility:10 Coolness:0 Dangerousness:1 Comedy Value:8
34: The Sentinels (The Matrix )
Plausibility:0 Coolness:9 Dangerousness: 9 Comedy Value:0
33:Giant Nazi Robots (Sky Captain)
Inspired by the giant evil robots who battle Superman in Max
Fleischer's influential 1941 cartoon
Plausibility:0 Coolness:8 Dangerousness:10 Comedy Value:1
32: Cylons (Battlestar Galactica)
"By your command."
Plausibility:3 Coolness:6 Dangerousness:10 Comedy Value:0
31: Battle Droids (Star Wars franchise)
Plausibility:0 Coolness:8 Dangerousness:4 Comedy Value:8
30: Optimus Prime (Transformers)
The word "Transformer" is used only once in the entire film - when a
character ascribes an explosion and power failure to "a blown
Plausibility:0 Coolness:10 Dangerousness:10 Comedy Value:0
29: Daft Punk (in their feature film Electroma)
Two robots drive through the Southwestern American landscape in a 1987
Ferrari 412 that doesn't transform into anything.
Plausibility: 1 Coolness: 10 Dangerousness: 0 Comedy Value:10
28: Bishop (Aliens)
"Well, that explains it then. The A2s always were a bit twitchy. That
could never happen now with our behavioral inhibitors. It is
impossible for me to harm or by omission of action, allow to be
harmed, a human being"
Plausibility:6 Coolness:7 Dangerousness:7 Comedy Value:1
27: Ash (Alien) - Warning: Gruesome clip
Ash's 'blood' is mixed water and food colouring. Milk could not used
in large quantities as it would have soured under the hot studio
lights, although a small amount is used for close-ups of his inner
workings - together with a mixture of pasta and marbles.
Plausibility:6 Coolness:5 Dangerousness:10 Comedy Value:1
26: Max (The Black Hole)
The robot name "V.I.N.CENT" is supposed to be an acronym of "Vital
Information Necessary CENTralized". B.O.B.'s name stands for "BiO-
sanitation Battalion," while S.T.A.R.'s is an acronym for "Special
Troops/Arms Regiment. No-one knows what Max stands for.
Plausibility:4 Coolness:5 Dangerousness:9 Comedy Value:4
25: Terminator Series 1000 (Terminator 2)
The groundbreaking computer-aided visual effects used in Terminator 2
to create the T-1000 won the Oscar for Visual Effects.
Plausibility: 2 Coolness: 9 Dangerousness 10 Comedy Value: 1
24: V-Ger (Star Trek the Motion Picture)
Towards the end of the film V'ger is revealed to be a radically
enhanced version of the unmanned scientific probe Voyager 6, which was
part of the Voyager program, and 'launched in the "twentieth
Plausibility: 10 Coolness: 0 Dangerousness: 10 Comedy Value:2
23: Data (Star Trek franchise)
"0.68 seconds sir. For an android, that is nearly an eternity"
Plausibility:4 Coolness: 7 Dangerousness:2 Comedy Value:10
22: Fembots (Austin Powers franchise)
The Fembots' lethal brassiere is based on one worn by Ursula Andress
in cult Italian sci-fi movie 'The 10th Victim'
Plausibility: 1 Coolness: 8 Dangerousness: 4 Comedy Value:10
21: Claire Wellington (The Stepford Wives)
"I asked myself, 'Where would people never notice a town full of
Plausibility: 7 Coolness: 6 Dangerousness: 8 Comedy Value :2
20: Dewey (Silent Running )
In the film, the three drones are named after Donald Duck's nephews,
Huey, Louie and Dewey.
Plausibility: 7 Coolness: 2 Dangerousness: 8 Comedy Value :6
19: Box (Logan's Run)
"Welcome Humans! I am ready for you"
Plausibility:6 Coolness:3 Dangerousness:6 Comedy Value:8
18: Marvin (Hitchikers' guide to the galaxy)
"Life? Don't talk to me about life!"
Plausibility: 1 Coolness: 8 Dangerousness: 4 Comedy Value:10
17: Gigolo Joe (A.i)
"Patricia... once you've had a lover-robot you'll never want a real
Plausibility: 7 Coolness: 9 Dangerousness: 5 Comedy Value: 3
16: Robbie the Robot (Forbidden Planet inter alia)
Uniquely, for a movie robot, Robbie had a long and varied career
beyond Forbidden Planet, appearing in many popular US TV series such
as "The Thin Man", "Lost in Space", "The Twilight Zone", "The Addams
Family", "The Love Boat", "Columbo", "Mork and Mindy", and, most
Plausibility:5 Coolness:6 Dangerousness:6 Comedy Value:7
15:Mechagodzilla (Gojira tai Mekagojira)
Essentially a gigantic dinosaur-shaped Terminator, Mechagodzilla first
appears in a false Godzilla 'skin' before it is burned off in battle
to reveal his true shiny chromium form.
Plausibility: 1 Coolness: 5 Dangerousness: 10 Comedy Value: 8
14: The Gunslinger (Westworld)
Michael Crichton's inspiration for Westworld was the original
animatronic Pirates of the Caribbean ride at Disneyland.
Plausibility:6 Coolness:7 Dangerousness: 9 Comedy Value:3
13: Gort (The Day The Earth Stood Still)
The actor inside the seamless suit was Lock Martin, the doorman from
Grauman's Chinese Theatre, chosen for his great height., Unfortunately
he was not a particularly strong man and had to rely on hidden wires
camera dollies, and lightweight dummies to help him in scenes where
Gort was called upon to carry a human being.
Plausibility:6 Coolness:10 Dangerousness: 10 Comedy Value:0
12: Droideka Droids (Star Wars: The Phantom Menace)
The Droideka can fire up to 240 dual blasts a minute (unless their
blaster arms get too hot)
Plausibility:8 Coolness: 8 Dangerousness: 10 Comedy Value:0
11: R2-D2 (Star Wars franchise)
"Your droids! We don't serve their kind here!"
Plausibility:5 Coolness:10 Dangerousness:2 Comedy Value: 10
10: The Sentinels (X-Men 3)
In the third and perhaps final X-Men movie, the fan favourites are
inserted in a 'virtual reality' cameo role.
Plausibility:9 Coolness:9 Dangerousness:10 Comedy Value:0
9: Sonny (I-Robot)
Detective: "Can a robot write a symphony? Can a robot turn a canvas
into a beautiful masterpiece?"
Sonny: "Can you?"
Plausibility: 7 Coolness: 7 Dangerousness:7 Comedy Value:7
8: Evil Bill & Ted (Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey )
"Okay, dudes... oh I mean fellow policemen. my son Ted Theodore Logan,
and his friend Bill S. Preston ESQ. have been murdered and replaced by
evil robots from the future"
Plausibility:0 Coolness:9 Dangerousness:9 Comedy Value:9
7: ABC Warriors (Judge Dredd)
"Status? Commander? Mission?"
Plausibility: 8 Coolness: 9 Dangerousness: 8 Comedy Value: 3
6: Swarms of robot spiders (Lost In Space)
The spiders are nameless aggressors, but the robot in the original
series did have a (rarely-mentioned) name: in the third-season of the
parent TV show it was shown in its packing crate, and the crate was
labelled "ONE General Utility Non-Theorizing Environmental ROBOT" with
the G, U, N, T, E, and all letters in "ROBOT" in red capital letters,
while all the other letters were black; suggesting the acronym
Plausibility: 9 Coolness: 10 Dangerousness: 10 Comedy Value: 0
5: ED 209 (Robocop)
"Please put down your weapon. You have 20 seconds to comply"
Plausibility: 9 Coolness:9 Dangerousness:10 Comedy Value:1
4: SID 6.7 (Virtuosity)
"Just because I'm carrying the joy of killing your family inside me
doesn't mean we can't be friends"
Plausibility: 10 Coolness: 10 Dangerousness: 10 Comedy Value: 0
3:Kitt (Knight Rider)
David Hasselhoff and William Daniels (voice of K.I.T.T.) first met at
a Christmas party six months after 'Knight Rider' started shooting.
Plausibility: 10 Coolness: 8 Dangerousness: 6 Comedy Value: 8
2: HAL9000 (2001, A Space Odyssey)
"I know you and Frank were planning to disconnect me, and I'm afraid
that's something I cannot allow to happen"
Plausibility: 10 Coolness: 8 Dangerousness: 10 Comedy Value: 5
1: Terminator Series 800/Model 101 (The Terminator)
O.J. Simpson was considered for the role of the Terminator, but the
producers thought he might be "too nice" to be taken seriously as a
Plausibility:5 Coolness: 11 Dangerousness: 10 Comedy Value: 9