TV Robots – Are they better off as gifts, pets or friends?



Television news


Robots are always on our TV screens, from the brawling bots of Robot Wars to the Daleks of Doctor Who. They’re in the news too, taking call centre jobs and will be (possibly) driving us to work soon.

TV Robots - Virgin Media Ireland

What will it look like, when robots are walking, working and living amongst us? TV, as always, provides the answers, with a full assembly line of robots big and small, rude and kind, and friendly and scary.

Here’s a quick rundown of some of our metal friends, and whether or not we’d like to see them in our homes….

The Cylons of Battlestar Galactica (pictured)
While these guys are definitely advanced, they may not be the best choice for a household appliance. (Though the humans in Battlestar use the supposedly racist term “toasters”.) Yes, they might try to destroy the human race, but on the other hand, they do add colour and excitement to the show, so they’re great TV creations, even if they’re not a great help around the house.

(Now that we see it on the screen, “The Cylons of Battlestar Galactica” sounds like a reality show on TLC.)

The Cast of Humans
Like the Battlestar bots, the machines in Humans look just like us, only with piercing eyes and better bone structure and abs. They’re generally a well-meaning bunch, even if they can make some poorly judged decisions (much like their human bosses/owners/parents). Don’t leave a female one alone with your husband, though…

Bender (Futurama)
Certainly the most fun robot on the list, if not the must functional, Bender is the hard-drinking, kleptomaniac clanger from Futurama. Self-serving, fur-wearing and sometimes wrestling and cross-dressing, Bender lives life to the fullest. We’re not quite sure how he has room in his stomach for all that booze and stolen jewellery, but the show is set in the future in fairness, so maybe roomy robots will be invented someday.

Data (Star Trek: The Next Generation)
Much like Spock (his spiritual and creative ancestor), Data was an interesting and lovable character, fascinated by our weird human ways. Faithful, conscientious and sometimes unintentionally funny, Data made the universe a better place. Following in Kirk’s footsteps, he even managed to make out with a colleague once!

Mac (Mac & Cheese, Friends)
And finally, Joey Tribbiani (Matt LeBlanc) had a brief stint as a cop with a robot partner in the show Mac & Cheese. They got off to a bad start, as Joey unintentionally insulted both the robot and its operator. But they got back on track, solving crimes, working together and getting past the incident when Mac knocked over a sandwich Joey had his eye on.


Is this the automation of entertainment?

Battlestar Galactica is available On Demand Virgin TV, Star Trek: The Next Generation is available on Netflix, Mac & Cheese is now showing on Comedy Central, Futurama is still regularly repeated on Sky and Humans will return to Channel 4 in 2018.


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