We shortlisted the ten coolest robots from the labs of Hollywood and then ranked them. The winner, of course, is a robot from a book.
10. THE CYLONS (Battlestar Galactica)
The Cylons are the robotic marauders of our nightmares, relentless and driven to destroy
humanity. Some Cylons are indistinguishable from humans - making them at once subtle, stealthy, conniving, and not above using subterfuge to achieve their purposes. Not to mention, they can hack anything - including this list, as we see the Machiavellian machines at number 10.
Taught us: Beware hot emotionless women who seem very into you - cold and calculating might not just be metaphorical.
What Makes Them Awesome: Tricia Heifer in a red dress. And then out of it. For her, most men would surrender willingly. Some women, too.
9. DATA (Star Trek)
The most intelligent and strongest entity upon the USS Enterprise, Data navigates a series dedicated to the human spirit with enlightened naivete that is endearing. If you think he's only a nerd magnet, think again - his character receives the most fan mail. From the ladies. Asking him up go, boldly, where no robot has gone before.
Taught us: Courage and honour are not just about having guts, and that even machines can have a heart.
What Makes Him Awesome: He grew a beard so that he could stroke it too look more dignified. Robots who can experiment with facial hair - how can that not be awesome?
8. SENTINELS (Matrix)
These red-eyed tentacled machines were the search and destroy units for the Machine Overmind. Capable of flight, great speed and the destruction, these drones that look like squids eventually overrun the last vestiges of resistance amongst the humans. Equipped with cutting edges and burning lasers, they are designed to evoke fear and revulsion.
Taught us: You know those nightmares people have about artificial intelligence? They exist for a good reason.
What Makes Them Awesome: A combination of the innate human fear of insects and swarms, there is nothing more intimidating than the buzzing sound they make.
7. OPTIMUS PRIME (Transformers)
The leader of the Autobots and the mechanical hero of the Transformers series, Optimus is a machine with the heart of a hero. Ever ready to sacrifice himself for the good of his people and Earth, he is also an awe inspiring fighter. A Viking hero masquerading as an alien robot masquerading as a giant truck, Optimus shows us how the good guys can still be cool.
Taught us: Victory isn't merely the opposition's defeat, it is the achievement of your objective through the right means.
What Makes Him Awesome: Do you know anyone else who can save the planet Earth and transport you and all your possessions safely across the country? Do you?
6. T-800 (The Terminator)
I don't know what's harder to believe - an assassinating robot from the future, or Arnie as Governor of a California. Either way, the journey begins with an ice cold killing machine, and ends with a child saving hero with a heart of gold. This stone cold killer was redeemed from his evil purpose, but nothing could stop him from becoming legend. Never has wooden acting in leather jackets looked quite so badass.
Taught us: Never go anywhere without awesome sunglasses.
What Makes Him Awesome: "Hasta la vista, baby!" - the best kill line ever.
5. R2D2 (Star Wars franchise)
Never has so much been owed to something so little - and never has so much love been showered on something that communicates in hoots and whistles. Probably the first robot on screen with attitude and cuteness, this galaxy saving robot can even make and serve cocktails in addition to being able to hack a gigantic space station that could destroy planets.
Taught us: R2D2 can be cute, be cool, save the world and play pranks on his buddy C3PO. If this shiny tin can do it, so can you.
What Makes Him Awesome: This robot - it really knows how to roll.
4. ANDREW NDR-113 (The Bicentennial Man)
Not all robots with accidental properties go on a rampage - some of them even change the world by being productive and nice. A robot imbued with creativity through some odd manufacturing defect, Andrew uses this skill to become unbelievably wealthy and a robot around town, eventually falling in love, finding a wife and finally - becoming so human so as to die.
Taught us: Being human requires sacrifice.
What Makes Him Awesome: Sleeping with your original interest's grand-daughter? Well played. Totally went for the long term. And he seemed so nice in the story, you almost forget it!
3. WALL-E (Wall-E)
This trash collecting robot created by Pixar trundled into all our hearts with his desire for love and companionship, exhibiting more humanity and courage than most humans would manage. Left to clean up the world while humankind drifted off in space, Wall E inspires us to be grounded but strive for what matters, too.
Taught us: Protect the environment! Also, fall in love. It makes everything look better.
What Makes Him Awesome: Colourful space contrail dances to show love will always be an epic win.
2. ROY BATTY (Blade Runner)
A Nexus-6 Replicant, Roy is the artificial human being we should all be terrified of. Superhuman strength and endurance and a genius level intellect, Roy is the most enigmatic and awe inspiring being of artificial intelligence created for the screen thus far. How does it all end? Roy chooses not to kill the hero, but makes a chilling speech about memory and life before his time runs out.
Taught us: There is nothing more dangerous than a cunning and strong adversary driven to meet its ends.
What Makes Him Awesome: He's so badass that the only time he's not kicking Harrison Ford's ass in the movie is when he's either saving him or being chillingly philosophical.
1. MARVIN THE PARANOID ANDROID (The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy)
With a brain that's the size of a planet, Marvin is not paranoid - just completely depressed and bored, because nothing he could do would conceivably occupy more than a fraction of his robot brain. He often saves Arthur Dent and Zaphod Beeblebrox from certain death, most often through very little effort - mostly because he can't be bothered to do much for anyone, because everything's a waste for his awesoneness, anyway. It takes skill to make a depressed robot hilarious - Douglas Adams went ahead and made this character legendary.
Taught us: That existence is tough, even if you're the most intelligent being in the universe.
What Makes Him Awesome: He has a song by Radiohead named after him. Need you know more?
From HT Brunch, July 21
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