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My Favorite Pop Culture Robots

 
Before I began my career at Bastian Robotics, my main exposure to the world of robotics wasn’t through the world of industrial automation. I wasn’t fully aware of all the real-life applications like palletizing, machine tending, and case packing. No, I pictured robots more like the ones I saw in movies or read about in books; evil robots trying to take over the world, or heroes in epic space adventures. There have been so many iconic robots in popular culture throughout history. Here are a few of my favorite pop culture robots:
Ultron Ultron: The titular villain of this summer’s blockbuster, Avengers: Age of Ultron, this robot has been a thorn in the side of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes ever since his debut way back in 1968. Originally created by Hank Pym as an experiment in high-intelligence robotics, Ultron’s origin quickly went dark as he became sentient and rebelled against his creator. Armed with an adamantium body, energy projection, supreme intelligence, and penchant for conquest, Ultron continues to plague the super heroes of the Marvel Universe with his unique brand of evil.
Clank Clank: Created as XJ-0461, this diminutive robot is one of the main protagonists in the Ratchet and Clank video game series, as well as the upcoming 2016 film adaptation. The loyal and wise sidekick to the lombax known as Ratchet, Clank has appeared in all 9 games of the series, and even got his own spin-off with 2008’s “Secret Agent Clank”. Clank is extremely intelligent and can modify his body into a variety of useful forms. He can become a jetpack, transform into a giant mech, and has even possessed the power to slow time itself. While Ratchet may get most of the glory for their galaxy-spanning adventures, Clank has proven himself time and time again to be a true hero.
Optimus Prime Optimus Prime: Leader of the Autobots and face of the Transformers franchise, Optimus Prime has been a staple in popular culture ever since his inception in the 1980’s. From toys and comics to cartoons and feature films, Optimus Prime has gone through countless iterations and has remained one of the most recognizable robots in the world. Armed with his ion blaster and energon-axe, few can rival Prime’s skills in battle. His courage and charisma make him the perfect leader in the never-ending battle against the evil Decepticons.
Claptrap Claptrap: Designation CL4P-TP is a general purpose robot manufactured by the Hyperion Corporation in the Borderlands video game series. Claptrap was programmed with an overabundance of emotion and enthusiasm. This typically causes him (in often-hilarious fashion) to occasionally exhibit great happiness one moment and terrible sadness the next. While typically just a background character, Claptrap’s popularity has led him to becoming a playable character in the recently released game, Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel.
Bender Bender: Bending Unit 22, aka Bender, is one of the main characters from the animated television comedy, Futurama. This funny, foul-mouthed reprobate was a staple throughout the show’s 7 season-run. While often rude and selfish, Bender does occasionally display a rare soft side, especially when it comes to his best friend, Fry.
Iron Giant The Iron Giant: The protagonist of the 1999 film of the same name, the Iron Giant is a 50 foot tall robot who crash landed on earth and subsequently into the hearts of audiences. With his innocent temperament, he quickly befriended a boy named Hogarth and through their journey together, discovered the true nature of friendship, and the value of life. Even though the Giant is capable of incredible destruction, Hogarth teaches him to use his powers for good in this endearing film.
Rosie the Robot Rosie: This marks the second time Rosie has shown up on the Bastian Solutions blog. Rosie is the household robot of the Jetson’s – the space-faring family from Orbit City. While she is an outdated model, she is beloved by her family and keeps their household in order. She not only performs housework but is a strong authoritarian who occasionally fills a parental role for Judy and Elroy.
Mega Man Mega Man: The “Blue Bomber” was first introduced in the 1987 classic “Mega Man” for the Nintendo Entertainment System. Since then, he has gone on to appear in over 100 video games and become one of the most recognizable flagship characters for video game developer, Capcom. Mega Man utilizes his signature Mega Buster arm cannon to take on the forces of evil, most notably, Dr. Wily and his Robot Masters. He also possesses the ability to copy the special abilities of the Robot Masters he defeats. Mega Man and his various cybernetic companions continuously strive towards achieving a shared peace between humans and robots.
R2D2 and C-3PO R2-D2 and C-3PO: The two most iconic droids from the Star Wars Universe are R2-D2 and C-3PO. C-3PO was designed to interact with living creatures and programmed with strong etiquette and protocol in mind. He is extremely well-mannered yet his constant desire for decorum has made him very worry-prone and nervous. R2-D2 is an astromech droid designed to work as a diagnostic and repair unit for space crafts. R2-D2 has developed a much more adventurous personality than his counterpart. This duo played pivotal roles in saving the galaxy numerous times throughout the Star Wars franchise and continue to be remembered as pop-culture icons to this day.
Those are just a few of my favorite robots throughout pop culture. What are some of your favorites? Feel free to list them in the comments section below.

Author: Bill Bastian II

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