Road Trip Wednesday: Top Five “Robots”

Road Trip Wednesday is a ‘Blog Carnival,’ where YA Highway posts a weekly writing- or reading-related question.

This week, the question is: What human-like robots (or robot-like humans?) have you enjoyed in books, TV, or movies?

The worst thing is that as much as I’ve scoured Wiki’s pages on fictional robots and androids, I’m sure I’ll think of another character before long. Follow the link to see my list of top five “robots” in no particular order.

Data from Star Trek

Data (Star Trek: The Next Generation)

Classification: human-like robot (android)

Easily one of my first crushes ever in my existence, which instantly gets him in my top five. He’s adorable, brilliant, and an ever-evolving character with a very clear (if contrived) character arc. He’s the android who wants to be human, something that is incredibly overused as a trope in science fiction but I like to think he does it well. He’s got a cat. He loves Sherlock Holmes and plays violin. He has an “evil” twin brother. And we are totally going to ignore Star Trek: Nemesis ever happened. We just are.

Motoko Kusanagi from Ghost in the Shell

Motoko Kusanagi (Ghost in the Shell [1995 Anime Film])

Classification: both human-like robot & robot-like human (cyborg)

Oh my god, this movie. This movie is gorgeous, brilliantly written, and an absolute inspiration to anyone who writes futuristic or cyberpunk fiction. I love it. I haven’t watched it in a few years (I only own it on VHS), so I can’t recall too much about why I love Motoko so much. She’s kick ass. She has purple hair. She’s sexy but still strong (from what I gather of the manga and other adaptions, she’s regularly a sexual object as much as she’s a strong female character, but I’ll let it slide). Even if you don’t like Japanese films or animated movies, you should watch Ghost in the Shell. Definitely one I need to see again.

Aphrodite IX

Aphrodite IX (Aphrodite IX)

Classification: human-like robot (android)

Following after Motoko, this is another character I can’t recall entirely. I remember enjoying the comics a lot, to the point I often think back on them when working on my own cyberpunk or dystopian work. Aphrodite IX has a great design — I am forever a sucker for green hair, as my love for X-Men’s Polaris can attest — even if she is more sexual object than strong female. I suppose I am being more superficial and nostalgic than anything else by including her on this list, but … green hair, guys. It’s awesome.

Agent Smith from the Matrix

Agent Smith (The Matrix Trilogy)

Classification: human-like robot (computer program)

So, he’s technically neither a human or a robot, but I have to mention him. Granted, the later two Matrix films leave much to be desired, but that first one? Fantastic. Agent Smith might not be the main villain, but he’s certainly up there as a central opposing force for Neo, to the point he could be viewed as his antithesis. As the franchise continued, his character also followed that robot-becoming-human trope, though it ran parallel to the main character’s increasing understanding of the Matrix and became a interesting twist on a tired concept — even if I would rather forget how wincingly bad movies two and three were.

Abed Nadir from Community

Abed Nadir (Community)

Classification: robot-like human, sorta (human)

Abed does develop a Terminator-like overlay interface in the seventh episode of season two, “Aerodynamics of Gender” so I feel that’s excuse enough to include him on the list. Not my favourite episode, but definitely made better by that alone. I don’t necessarily consider Abed entirely robotic, though some might. He does have a mental database of pop trivia to rival Wikipedia. He is calculated in everything he does, even down to his facial expressions and gestures. He also has difficulty with empathy in many situations. Regardless, I think he’s a very caring and warm character, and one of my favourite on television ever. Certainly one of my favourites on television today.

2 thoughts on “Road Trip Wednesday: Top Five “Robots”

  • Mike

    Great post! This is the stuff that I live for reading. Thanks for sharing!

  • penang hotels

    I used to read such type of stories every time I travel. It made me entertained all the time and it doesn't make me bore.

Comments are closed.