- 1Every kid from the 1970's and ever since then knows who this is. You only have to play a bit of the iconic 'beep and boop' language that he uniquely uses, and they say 'R2D2!' R2D2 is perhaps the most unique robot character in all of SciFi. He takes pretty much all we've learned and thought of in terms of robots as clever, loveable characters and combines it all. How Kenny Baker, the actor who was inside R2D2 for most of the shots, was able to evoke emotion through this 'tin can on wheels' is amazing. Then, Ben Burt's, the sound designer for Star Wars, clever almost-binary language of electronic noises creates a language that, combined with the movements and other character reactions, is as understandable and relatable as that of a favorite pet dog or a little baby. Yet, R2-D2 is also a bit of an action hero, always coming to the rescue of the other characters in the movies. R2-D2 has been in every Star Wars movie and TV show (the cartoons and holiday special) ever made. Could well be the most iconic character of the Star Wars universe. Of all my Star Wars action figures, he's still my favorite and I have almost every version they've made of him.
- 2'Hello, I am C-3PO, human-cyborg relations'. Ever since I first saw the movie 'Star Wars' (now known as 'Episode IV: A New Hope'), I was fascinated by this golden droid. There are many robots and droids in Star Wars, but he stands out. With his clipped English accent, thanks to the excellent actor Anthony Daniels, his nervously polite mannerisms and striking looks, he was an instant hit with the viewers. Only slightly less popular than the #1 robot on this list, C-3PO and his actor hold the distinction of being the only character/actor combo to be in all six Star Wars movies as well as in the animated movie and TV show Clone Wars. He was also the co-star, along with R2D2 of his very own Saturday Morning cartoon called Droids. I met Anthony in person at the excellent Star Wars in Concert tour and he's a very nice guy.
- 3Doctor Who is one of the longest running SciFi TV shows of all time. Especially if you include the new series that is running now. During the stint of my favorite Doctor (the main character, a humanoid alien who could regenerate into a totally new appearance if he was killed - pure genius!- in that it enabled BBC to replace everyone on the show as needed) Tom Baker as the 4th Doctor, he makes a visit to a planet where a clever scientist has invented a robot dog. By the end of this story, called The Invisible Enemy, K-9 becomes The Doctor's new travelling companion.
He's loyal though not without his subtle digs at the other characters now and then. He's very clever but not very 'worldly' having been stuck in a lab all his early life. He's like a defender and rolling tool kit all in one. The Doctor very rarely resorts to violence and almost never carries a weapon, so K-9's 'bite' of various lasers and rays comes to his rescue many times. He was seen again on an episode of the reboot Doctor Who series when The 11th Doctor goes back to visit Sara Jane Smith (a companion from the 4th Doctor days) and was also the star of a short-lived spin-off show called K-9 and Company.
Robbie the RobotThis is the iconic robot from the famous early SciFi movie Forbidden Planet and later TV show Lost in Space. Robbie was a bit clunky and slow moving but was pretty impressive back in the 1950's. His sayings, especially "Danger, Will Robinson!" are well known, even by kids who haven't seen the show. Pretty much every SciFi show after those that had robots in them was influenced by this robot.
- 5Any kid from the 1970s and on has probably seen the great Hanna Barbara cartoon series The Jetsons. There were all sorts of amazingly silly ideas of the 'future' in that show, but one of the most clever and likeable was the robot maid Rosie. She played the role of the dutiful yet clever maid that has been in so many family sitcoms (which Jetsons and Flintstones bacically were, only in animated form).
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