Are robots just robots?
Today, we build all kinds of drones and robots using emerging technology trends. But technology has never been able to evolve as quickly as our imaginations; before we even started building tangible robots, we imagined what it would be like to be around them.
We first mentioned robots in fiction written in the mid-1800s before they hit the screen around the 1920s. While all works of science fiction have their charm, some of these robots have marked the cultural scene of their time.
In the hope that the rise of mechanical beings doesn’t spell the end of humanity, we take a look at the most influential robots that have us wondering what it means to be “alive” on screen and wondering if it would be possible to build them in real life.
number six of Battlestar Galactica
oşYou probably know Sophia, a humanoid robot developed by Hanson Robotics that made headlines as the world’s first citizen robot. While Sophia was as close to a humanoid robot as possible, the humanoid Cylons of Battlestar Galactica were eerily identical to humans in appearance and even biology in the series’ dystopia.
Number Six, however, is the most memorable Cylon due to its critical role in the storyline’s unraveling and its long screen time. In Battlestar Galactica, humanoid Cylons have millions of clones, or templates, and they all share the same personality and traits. When one dies, one’s memories are transferred to others like a massive cloud network that can be stored, reprogrammed, and even interfaced with computers.
WALL-E from WALL-E
The adorable WALL-E (Waste Allocation Load Lifter Earth-Class) is a trash compactor robot in a garbage-covered Earth in the future. The only robot of its type still functioning on Earth, WALL-E cleans up the empty planet on its own while the remaining humans continue their existence in a space colony. Although we have built similar robots to explore the moon and Mars, we are far from being caught in a similar dystopian environment where we would need rovers like WALL-E, at least for now.
Gorte of The day the earth stood still
If you’ve seen the 1951 movie The day the earth stood still Probably the most iconic sci-fi movie in the genre’s history, you know the equally iconic humanoid robot Gort, also known by his acronym Genetically Organized Robotic Technology after the film’s 2008 remake.
The day the earth stood still tells the story of an alien named Klaatu who visits Earth as a ambassador from another planet, and his giant robot guard, Gort. In addition to his massive build, Gort also has a Cyclops-like laser beam that he fires from his “eye”. Wielding great power, Klaatu describes Gort as an interstellar police tasked with keeping the peace.
Not to mention finding an alien police robot with a laser, we’ve been unlucky in our search for life outside of our own planet with the technologies we have – until now.
HAL of 2001: A Space Odyssey
Artificial intelligence is an emerging trend that has been making headlines for the past few decades. According to MIT-IBM Watson AI Lab AI allows “computers and machines to mimic the perceptual, learning, problem-solving and decision-making abilities of the human mind. With the use of AI, robotics and machine learning can be very beneficial to humans or, according to some theories, catastrophic.
HAL, a human-like computer on the discovery one spaceship in the 1968 film 2001: A Space Odyssey. Symbolizing humanity’s longstanding concerns with technological advancements and, of course, artificial intelligence, HAL is an intelligent being mad with power. Not just a simple AI assistant, HAL maintains all of the spacecraft’s mechanical and life support systems.
Although it took some time, it is safe to say that we succeeded in building and programming working artificial intelligence systems. However, we still don’t know when or if the advanced AI will be mainstream.
T-800 from The Terminator
1984 The Terminator may be responsible for an entire generation’s fear of robots and AI The film, which led to a franchise including numerous sequels and TV shows, paints a bright future where humans are oppressed by AI-powered machines and an evil computer system Skynet. After hacking into United States systems and starting a nuclear war, the machines are essentially trying to eradicate humans.
The T-800, also known as Cyberdyne Systems Model 101, is an advanced humanoid robot sent in 1984 from the same dystopian future to kill John Connor, the future savior of mankind, before he was even born. But in the second film in the Terminator 2: Judgment Day series, he becomes the main protagonist and helps save John Connor from the other robots. Boasting motion and face detection, zoom and a nuclear cell instead of a heart, the T-800 model can “live” for 120 years. Proving that certain robots can be useful and can actually save lives, the T-800 is an emblematic figure in the history of cinema.
Bender of Futurama
If you’re a sci-fi buff, you’ve dreamed of having a robot sidekick at least once in your life. Bender from Futurama is that robot. As the best friend of series protagonist Fry, boozy Bender is famous for his hilarious lines. In addition to his personality traits, his torso can be used as a popcorn machine, beer dispenser, oven, safe, and storage, among other things. He also has camera eyes and can use his head as a tape recorder.
Building a robot that has half the functionality of Bender is a nearly impossible mission, and it doesn’t look like we’ll be able to build one soon enough. Even though Bender doesn’t look like a human, he has all the characteristics.
R2-D2 from star wars
Arguably the most popular robot in movie history, R2-D2, or Series-2 Second Generation Robotic Droid, is a loyal little droid with a critical role in the storyline. Serving many important figures ranging from Anakin Skywalker and Obi-wan Kenobi to Luke Skywalker, Artoo is an astromech droid with many handy tools including an electric pike, ascension cable and data probe. R2-D2 can hack computer systems, filter hologram projections, and repair hyperdrives.
We’ve covered many service robots over the years. And while we’re not quite ready to build an agile, autonomous droid like R2, of the bots on this list, he’d probably be the easiest to build.
Roy Batty from blade runner
One of the replicants in the novel of the same name, Roy Batty shot to fame after Rutger Hauer’s flawless performance in 1982. blade runner. Originally a replicant, a A bio-engineered humanoid, Roy has superhuman abilities and a strong will to “live”, but since he is not a “real human”, he only has a lifespan of four years. He is portrayed as the film’s main antagonist as the leader of a group of rogue replicants who demand a longer lifespan.
His character in the film makes the viewer wonder what makes us human and where the thin line lies between the essence of man and that of machine. Besides his famous monologue “Tears in the rain”, he also declared that he was not a mere machine but an independent and intelligent being (almost as much as a human) with the quote “We are not computers, Sebastian. We are physical.”
And just like previous advanced humanoid robots in this series, we still have a long way to go before we can build a humanoid robot using human DNA.
Daleks of Doctor Who
One of the main enemies of Time Lords, and of course, The Doctor, Daleks were first introduced in the long-running series Doctor Who in 1963 and have since become an iconic sight for science fiction fans. Originally a race of mutant aliens, the Daleks’ exterior is actually tank-like armor, making them cyborgs rather than robots. With a desire to destroy, or EX-TER-MI-NATE, anything that comes their way that isn’t a Dalek, the aliens conjure up the Nazis. According to the series’ Tenth Doctor, Daleks are encased in their shell of cold metal right after they are born and are therefore unable to feel anything.
Even though the Daleks are not fully integrated into their metal hull, they are supported and armed with it. Made from fictional Dalekanium and polycarbide alloys, the protective shell functions like tank-like armor. With emerging military technologies, we are currently working on the development of war suits like those of Iron-Man. Hopefully we won’t go as far as the Daleks.
Dolores of Westworld
Westworld’s Dolores is the show’s protagonist mainly because she’s the first and oldest animator. What is a host? For those who haven’t seen the show, a host is an artificially created intelligence, human or animal. These hosts are programmed to play with their own scenarios written for them in order to entertain the guests. In Westworld, guests are allowed to do whatever they want to the hosts, who have their memories erased after each performance. And, as you might have guessed, things go wrong.
Dolores, initially a rancher in the Westworld, however becomes aware and self-aware. Although she is intelligent and can blend in as human, she remains an artificial being who lacks human emotions, making her an alarming presence to her creators.
Most of the robots we watch on screen, even those with emotional intelligence, are primarily perceived as man-made and not human. However, the characters the filmmakers assign to them can help shift our perspective on the idea of consciousness, and inevitably make us wonder what makes us human anyway.