In the movie Aliens, there is a scene where Bishop does his "thing with the knife", showing speed and accuracy that no human would have. In Star Trek:TNG we often see Data entering commands/queries into the computer more quickly than humans could accomplish.

In contrast, one can recall Robot from Lost In Space being fairly awkward (though less so than the Borg). As that linked question implies, many 1950s robots were fairly mechanical and slow.

When did the depiction of androids/robots as faster than humans enter into the film world?

  • FWIW, I'm not sure Bishop did it that much faster than what humans can actually do. This is just the first example I've found, but I've seen faster in the past: youtube.com/watch?v=ZV0qVmZ4DsU
    – user31178
    Commented Sep 17, 2018 at 16:16
  • For the Trivia Super Bowl, the knife handed to Bishop by is an Explorer MM-IV, nearly identical to a Gerber-Mk II. Apparently Wikipedia currently disinforms on this. Commented Feb 8, 2021 at 13:08

4 Answers 4


I don't have literal hard evidence, but my best guess would be Hymie from "Get Smart" (1966). The lovable robo-agent could simulate all human reflexes while being immensely stronger.

If Hymie doesn't fit your needs, I would say Ruk for sure, appearing a few months later on "Star Trek". There's never any sense of "awkward" in Ruk's menacing movements.


In Fritz Lang's groundbreaking 1927 film, Metropolis, Maria (Brigitte Helm) is depicted as a robot with humanoid skin, and in one scene is shown to dance seductively enough to drive men to distraction -- in fact, she was indistinguishable from human until her skin was destroyed.

  • 1
    Is that anything to do with being "faster"? Commented Sep 17, 2018 at 18:43
  • If "faster" is the only criterion, see my other answer, Westworld.
    – Zeiss Ikon
    Commented Sep 17, 2018 at 18:51

Westworld, released 1973, depicted bunches of androids that were nearly indistinguishable from human -- most notably, The Gunfighter (played by Yul Brynner) who was capable of beating most humans in a showdown.


I'm not sure how much of the stories/books description made it into the film/TV adaptation, but according to Wikipedia two stories of Adam Link, a robot created by Eando Binder (a pen name for two brothers) were combined under the title of one, "I, Robot" on The Outer Limits in 1964. The same two stories were remade for the revival of the program in 1995.

In the stories (since collected into at least one book, titled Adam Link, Robot, likely because by the time it was collected Asimov had a much better known I, Robot), Adam was both stronger and faster than a human, as well as having a very well developed ethical and moral sense -- in other words, he was everything a human ought to be, and then some.

The Adam Link stories first appeared in the late 1930s, with "I, Robot" published in Amazing Stories in the January, 1939 issue.

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