Who was the first robot that still exists in working form? Ignoring robots for whom:

  • No Date Of Manufacture was mentioned or implied (by existing at a particular early time).
  • Got to where they are by time travel.

1 Answer 1


I had thought vaguely that "Crimes of the Hot" had stated robots were invented by Professor Farnsworth, but I just watched the episode again and he actually says..

I know the source of the greenhouse gases, but in my shame I've kept it secret for 75 long years .. Back then you see, robots were slow moving, stiff, and a little on the uptight side. .. All modern robots descend from my original smog blasting designs.

(That is the last 'spoiler warning' I am including - the rest is basically spoilers..)

Note that Bender is provably older than most robots. Not only did he get sent back to 1945 in "All's well that Roswell", but also acted as the stooge for the scammers that activated the time code so he could travel back in time repeatedly to steal things for them. He must be eons old. And that is not to consider the times he, Fry and the Professor traveled through a few different iterations of the universe, especially since that took only hours in their own 'local' time frame.

But noting the 2nd criterion, he is disqualified.

So let's list some of the potentials.

  • 2801/2802 - Santa Claws was made by Mom's Friendly Robot Company. Mentioned in "Xmas Story".
  • ca. 2200 - Kwanzaa Bot complains in "A Tale of Two Santas" that he has been distributing the 'What the hell is Kwanzaa?' pamphlet for 800 years.
  • 2008 - Calculon was working as a robot arm. Mentioned in "The Honking". He was turned into a Werecar by project Satan, but not only did he exist before Project Satan was finished and activated, he also outlasted it.
  • ca. 2008 - And that brings me to the Robot Devil. In one episode he asks for Calculon's ears, Calculon complies on the basis that the Robot Devil gave him his acting ability. In "The Honking", Calculon mentions he was all of histories great acting units - Thespomat, David Duchovny .. Given the reference to Duchovny, that implies he is also relatively old, though I don't think that any time of origin has ever been put forward for him.
  • ? - Robot God? Same problem as the Robot Devil - no date of manufacture mentioned.
  • 1495 - 1498: Then we come to Animatronio, who apparently predates Leonardo da Vinci's painting of The Last Supper, in which he (or at least part of him) appears.

Animatronio is the earliest made, currently existing robot I can immediately track down.

Did I miss an even earlier one?

  • Very good answer. Especially when we assume we only mean earth-originating robots.
    – DampeS8N
    Commented May 2, 2013 at 20:25
  • 1
    I will accept this answer until someone comes up with a robot that predates Animatronio. Commented May 5, 2013 at 14:28
  • Interesting comment @DampeS8N, Is was almost about to ask another question to the effect 'is there any evidence that any other planet beside Earth manufactures robots?' since I cannot recall any! Commented May 5, 2013 at 14:29
  • If Animatronio was built by Leonardo, and he was an alien idiot, almost certainly his people have built other ones.
    – DampeS8N
    Commented May 5, 2013 at 21:16
  • @DampeS8N Perhaps, but perhaps not!
    – user20155
    Commented Jan 11, 2015 at 2:31

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