From wikipedia I, Robot entry:

The film I, Robot, starring Will Smith, was released by Twentieth Century Fox on July 16, 2004 in the United States. Its plot incorporates elements of "Little Lost Robot,"[7] some of Asimov's character names and the Three Laws. However, the plot of the movie is mostly original work adapted from a screenplay Hardwired by Jeff Vintar completely unlinked to Asimov's stories[7]

What are the main similarities/ differences in the movie I, Robot versus Asimov's story Little Lost Robot?

  • 6
    From what I recall, Little Lost Robot doesn't contain cringe-inducing product placement. Aug 6, 2014 at 21:29
  • 3
    It's hard to answer this without getting snarky. Other than character names, the very general concept of identifying one particular robot out of a group of identical mass-produced ones, and the three laws, the movie is completely unrelated to any of Isaac Asimov's writings. I think he would have liked the old-style robots, though.
    – Joe L.
    Aug 6, 2014 at 22:07
  • it seems many that assert there is little connection may not be all that familiar with asimov's writing. asimov wrote a lot of stories about robots (maybe thousands of pages) & also wonder if there are parallels/ plot elements across multiple stories (2020 hindsight probably should have adjd the question a bit to reflect that). are there any stories where a robot is a suspect in a crime? pursued/ questioned by the police? malfunctioning robots not correctly following 3 laws of robotics? etc? found some further here
    – vzn
    Aug 6, 2014 at 22:17
  • @JoeL - so for some reason stamping a serial number on the robot has somehow gone out of style. That's how companies do the identification now for cars, computers...
    – Oldcat
    Aug 6, 2014 at 22:17
  • @vzn - There are a few Asimov stories where a robot is a suspect in a crime. Most notably the Elijah Baley mysteries. But none of them bare any resemblance to the Will Smith movie. For one thing, Asimov's robot stories were mostly mysteries and had little if any action sequences. Aug 6, 2014 at 23:05

1 Answer 1


The only connection between the story "Little Lost Robot" and the movie I, Robot is that the missing robot was in both cases able to elude capture and otherwise act against the wishes of the humans surrounding it because it was not operating under the complete Three Laws of Robotics. In "Little Lost Robot" the missing robot operated under a modified First Law: it could through inaction allow human beings to come to harm. In I, Robot, the (briefly) missing robot Sonny had a secondary brain that didn't seem to be operating under the influence of the Laws at all.

  • Not quite true. Many character names are borrowed from the short-story by the film, including the name of the robot series in question; NS-5, instead of the short-story's NS-10. Aug 7, 2014 at 8:30
  • It's true that there's borrowing, but it's an very different story. Like many robot stories it's based on the 3 laws, that's almost the only similarity. Aug 10, 2014 at 9:58

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