Isaac Asimov is, to a large degree, the father of fictional robots. His robot stories first postulated the “Three Laws of Robotics”.
A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.
A robot must obey orders given it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.
It is the obeying or disobeying of these three laws which apply to every robot that has ever appeared in film, no matter how small a part the robot played.
In this article we’ll look at a few robots that most movie fans have forgotten about. Some obeyed the laws. Some disobeyed. Others had such a small role that they had no choice but to obey. But first, because there are over 3 trillion distinctly different robots in film history (trust me, I’ve counted them all), I need some rules to limit the scope of this article. I think I’ll call these rules Tim’s Five Laws of Robotics For This Article, or TFLORFTA for short. My self-imposed rules – not to be confused with Asimov’s “Three Laws” – are:
- Only robots (no cyborgs, that is an upcoming article)
- Only movie robots (no television, that is also an upcoming article)
- Only robots that are likely to be forgotten by the average movie fan (unforgettable robots are yet another upcoming article)
- Only robots in human form (androids) or robots with obvious human qualities (such as R2-D2 from Star Wars)
- Only one entry per movie franchise (so only one form of Terminator, etc.)
That’s it. Let’s get started.
14. Dot Matrix in Spaceballs
I’m sure you all remember Dot Matrix from Spaceballs, but when’s the last time you thought about her? I thought so. That’s why she’s on this list.
Dot takes the First Law to an unusual extreme – she protects the Princess from losing her virginity. Perhaps we shouldn’t build many Dots; it might just be the end of humanity.
We are currently seeking Films contributors on WhatCulture. To find out more about the perks of being a Films contributor, click here.