Wednesday, March 9, 2011

One More Robot's Top 50 Robots 30-21

30. C-3PO
As seen in: Star Wars

One of the most underrated supporting characters of the Star Wars series, C-3PO and his counterpart R2-D2 are credited as being the world’s first ‘bromance’, bridging language barriers, robot race and much more besides. One of the few characters to be portrayed by the same actor throughout the entire six Star Wars films; C-3PO has become a cult figure amongst fans the world over. The robot has inspired some the most varied and downright bizarre collectibles such as earrings, art and, my personal favourite, altered antique plates! The most recent is the newly released C-3PO iPad Case, the iPad accessory for geeks across the globe. --Niamh King

29. KITT
As seen in: Knight Rider

An abbreviation of ‘Knight Industries Two Thousand’, KITT was the talking car from eighties megahit TV show Knight Rider. The Knight in question was Michael Knight, played by The Hoff himself. Together with KITT, the duo was a formidable crime stopping force, defeating their enemies with a mixture of devastating explosives, unbelievable technology and artificial intelligence.

Undeniably camp, KITT would often come out with some awful lines that suggested that maybe there was more than just a platonic love between one man and his artificial intelligent car going on, including this gem: “It appears to be a large... My goodness, large isn’t the word, it’s enormous!” --Se├ín Earley
28. Kevin
As seen in: Saved by the Bell

Not all successful TV series hit the ground running, and the first couples of seasons can sometimes be littered with failed experiments, and characters soon to get the chop. In Saved by the Bell’s case, there was Max, the annoying waiter from the restaurant of the same name who insisted on using magic tricks as a visual aid to underline the advice he was giving the fresh-faced Zach, AC and the gang. He was wisely axed soon after. Then there was Kevin, Screech’s robot friend who was inexplicably removed from the show after two seasons. His appearances included a gig as an assistant to Screech’s magician and as a hall monitor, filling in for his much-loved master. But more than just a mechanical slave, Kevin offered the anxious teen much needed guidance with a refreshing sense of humour. Removing his robotic buddy when they did, no wonder Screech went off the rails. --Dean Van Nguyen

27. ‘Robot Rock’
Recorded by: Daft Punk

Daft Punk’s sound has always had a rather cybernetic quality. From the repetitive thud of the bass in ‘Da Funk’ to the space-aged synth laser blasts of ‘Around The World’, they have always seemed like a band that belonged at some futuristic rave out in the far reaches of the cosmos. By their second album they had evolved into robots physically and sonically with an arsenal of new, auto tune laden pop songs. The definitive example of their inorganic, processed sound is the aptly titled ‘Robot Rock’, a song which is played by robots and, indeed, rocks. In fact, the music video features a robot playing guitar. It does exactly what it says on the space aged tin. --Jesse Melia

26. ED-209
As seen in: Robocop

ED-209 had one of the most memorable introductions in sci-fi cinema when during a straight forward demonstration, he hideously malfunctions and guns down an innocent man. It kinda set the bar for things to come. The tank-like robot became something of a comic foil in the Robocop film trilogy, TV series, comic book and other spin offs because of his tendancy to break and general flaws in his design. (His inability to negotiate a flight of stairs leads to his defeat in the first ecounter with Robocop).

We think 209 got a bad hand. His flaws in the movie were mostly down to the rush to get him operational and these defects were apparently not worked out, with the sequel’s filmmakers determined to keep him slow, stupid and easily defeatable. A shame, since Robocop director Paul Verhoeven intended him to terrify, comparing the design to that of a Vietnam war helicopter. --Dean Van Nguyen

25. Linguo
As seen in: The Simpsons

Linguo was a shooting star amongst Simpsons characters, come and gone in a single episode but with his pedantic grammatical corrections forever burned into our brains. His appealed most obviously to the type of people who correct others’ use of ‘seen’ instead of ‘saw’, or ‘who’ instead of ‘whom’. Probably the most ingenious of all Lisa’s various science projects, Linguo’s brief life saw him get drunk, fight mobsters and die in the arms of Homer. It was a short but fulfilling existence. Let us never forget his dying words, as a single-thumbed Homer cradles him and says, “Linguo, dead?”, “Linguo is dead” came the final earthly croak. Long live Linguo. --Ian Maleney

24. The Mars Rover
Created by: NASA

NASA’s Mars Rover is actually two robots, Spirit and Opportunity. Both are identical but on different parts of Mars, as their creators hope to utitlise the machines we humans hope to find out vital information about its make-up and resources of the red planet. Operations began in 2004 and so far, they have detected ice and carbonate deposit (next stop, Costa del Mars) and if you like to keep up to date on what these robots are getting up to, they’re even on Twitter (http://twitter.com/MarsRovers).

These robots will be on Mars for the long haul so expect to hear more of their adventures over the coming years, although at present poor Spirit is caught in a sand trap and NASA hasn’t heard from it since March last year. We wish them both the best of luck. --Jason Robinson

23. The Pink Robots
Created by: The Flaming Lips

I imagine their pink colouring is a ruse to lull us into a false sense of security. I mean who sees pink and thinks danger? But you’re not going to get anywhere in your career as a giant world beating anime-style ‘megabot’ if you don’t have at least a few tricks up your sleeves. Do giant pink robots have sleeves? Anyway, we can only theorise why the titular Pink Robots of the Flaming Lips excellent 2002 song were attacking Earth, or Japan, or wherever. Whatever their reasons Wayne Coyne seemed confident that a young girl named Yoshimi could defeat them, amply prepared as she was with a vigorous karate and vitamin taking regime. What did she know that we didn’t? We don’t really know how she got on either, the only evidence being the indecipherable screaming heard in the songs second part. Maybe she didn’t defeat those evil machines. --Stephen Rogers

22. Metal Gear Rex
As seen in: Metal Gear Series

One of the Sony Playstation’s most memorable and influential franchises is undoubtedly the Metal Gear series. What started as a fairly straightforward running and gunning platform game on the SNES has evolved into a cinematic, blockbuster gaming franchise that has lasted over 20 years. The one constant in this genre-bending saga is that at the end of our hero Solid Snake’s journey of stealth and intrigue, he must face off against the latest iteration of the menacing bipedal walking tank known as Metal Gear Rex. Equipped with nuclear warheads along with an array of other destructive weaponry, the different Metal Gear’s have almost always posed much the same threat. They would always fall into the hands of fiendish terrorist types who wish to use its nuclear payload to commit fiendish terrorist acts such as enslaving the government or something equally reprehensible. Luckily Snake would always find the machine’s weak spot and destroy the abomination so we can all sleep soundly tonight. Thanks Snake. --Jesse Melia

21. ‘Intergalactic’ Robot
As seen in: The Beastie Boys’ Video

The Beastie Boys’ finest MTV moment saw the trio manning a robot that battles a giant octopus-headed creature armed with a pitchfork. The video is a nod to the old Kaju movies, right down to the scenes of the fleeing Japanese, just like a classic Godzilla film. The battle itself though somewhat resembles an episode of The Power Rangers and we’re treated to what can only be described as a Ranger-like dance moves by the boys down below, while the robot happily dances on the streets, that have been abandoned by the terrified natives. When the fight ensues, our blocky hero overcomes early octopus dominance by flinging his enemy into a nearby power line. This won Best Hip Hop Video at the MTV Video Music Awards in 1998. --Carol Killeen

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