Stack Exchange Network

Stack Exchange network consists of 175 Q&A communities including Stack Overflow, the largest, most trusted online community for developers to learn, share their knowledge, and build their careers.

Visit Stack Exchange

For questions about robots and their use in a specific work of Science Fiction and Fantasy or for use in conjunction with [story-identification]. Use this tag in conjunction with the specific work in question, e.g. [star-wars]

Fears and concerns about robots have been repeatedly expressed in a wide range of books and films. A common theme is the development of a master race of conscious and highly intelligent robots, motivated to take over or destroy the human race. (See The Terminator, Runaway, Blade Runner, RoboCop, the Replicators in Stargate, the Cylons in Battlestar Galactica, The Matrix, and I, Robot.) Some fictional robots are programmed to kill and destroy; others gain superhuman intelligence and abilities by upgrading their own software and hardware. Examples of popular media where the robot becomes evil are 2001: A Space Odyssey, Red Planet and Enthiran. Another common theme is the reaction, sometimes called the "uncanny valley", of unease and even revulsion at the sight of robots that mimic humans too closely. Frankenstein (1818), often called the first science fiction novel, has become synonymous with the theme of a robot or monster advancing beyond its creator. In the TV show, Futurama, the robots are portrayed as humanoid figures that live alongside humans, not as robotic butlers. They still work in industry, but these robots carry out daily lives.

Manuel De Landa has noted that "smart missiles" and autonomous bombs equipped with artificial perception can be considered robots, and they make some of their decisions autonomously. He believes this represents an important and dangerous trend in which humans are handing over important decisions to machines.

Marauding robots may have entertainment value, but unsafe use of robots constitutes an actual danger. A heavy industrial robot with powerful actuators and unpredictably complex behavior can cause harm, for instance by stepping on a human's foot or falling on a human. Most industrial robots operate inside a security fence which separates them from human workers, but not all. Two robot-caused deaths are those of Robert Williams and Kenji Urada. Robert Williams was struck by a robotic arm at a casting plant in Flat Rock, Michigan on January 25, 1979. 37-year-old Kenji Urada, a Japanese factory worker, was killed in 1981; Urada was performing routine maintenance on the robot, but neglected to shut it down properly, and was accidentally pushed into a grinding machine.

Edited From Robot on Wikipedia

history | excerpt history