The Best Pop Culture Robots, Droids, Cyborgs, and Androids

System Upgrade, ERROR Code 0101: Not all robots are evil? Robots, like their human creators, are both good and evil, sometimes even both. Robots are an integral part of pop culture. Even outside of science fiction, mechanical allies, antagonists, and assistants feature heavily in numerous narratives. They’re not just a thing of the future, either! Super hero stories set in the present, as well as intergalactic plots from the past, all include robots. Or droids. Or cyborgs.

So to celebrate National Robotics Week, we’re going to look at some of the best pop culture robots. See our list below β€” plus, see if you agree with our picks!


Ultron

Marvel

Check out the Infinity Ultron Sixth Scale Figure by Hot Toys!

Tony Stark and Bruce Banner created an A.I. capable of saving the world. But the best laid plans often go awry. Instead of a savior, these Marvel heroes unwittingly unleashed a villain known as Ultron. Ultron was convinced humanity is its own worst enemy, and intended on wiping them out for a better future. In Marvel’s What If…?, the stakes of this mission are heightened when Ultron melded his body with the Vision’s body and the Infinity Stones. His goal? To cleanse the Multiverse once and for all.


WALL-E and EVE

Disney

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WALL-E and EVE meet during Disney and Pixar’s post-apocalyptic love story for the ages. While WALL-E collects garbage on an unusable Earth, the sleek and stylish EVE travels from outer space to search for sustainable life. Despite their many differences, the two bots find common ground. Together they embark on a mission to help humanity, eventually restoring the planet into a paradise on which they can live in peace.


C-3PO and R2-D2

Star Wars

Celebrate the galaxy’s dynamic droid duo with the R2-D2 & C-3PO Chess Piece Collectible Set by Royal Selangor.

Star Wars™ is full of perfect pairs. The steadfast friends R2-D2™ and C-3PO™ always steal their scenes with their bickering and beeping. C-3PO is a protocol droid who was created by Anakin Skywalker™ and is fluent in thousands of forms of communication. His companion R2-D2 is an astromech™ capable of combat, repairs, and hacking. Together they are an essential addition to every Star Wars Rebellion or Resistance.


Cyborg

DC Comics

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He’s what heroes are made of. DC Comics’ Victor Stone is a talented athlete with a father who works at S.T.A.R. labs. One fateful evening, Victor is caught in an explosion that alters the course of his life forever. Left with very few options to save his son’s life, Silas Stone engineers Victor into Cyborg, a part man and part machine hybrid with cybernetic enhancements throughout his body. Victor uses his “Grid” computer system and advanced combat technology to fight alongside the Justice League.


Optimus Prime

Transformers

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The Transformers’ Optimus Prime is the leader of the Autobots. He is a Cybertronian, which is an extraterrestrial species of sentient transforming robotic lifeforms. On Earth, Optimus Prime and his allies, along with his enemies the Decepticons, transform into various vehicles such as cars and trucks. Most interestingly, Cybertronians are capable of speech and remain cognizant in car form, making them a unique take on the introduction of robots as well as aliens into human society.


Iron Giant

Warner Bros.

Collect one of the most beloved robots of all time with the Iron Giant Figure by Mondo.

In 1957, an unidentified object crashed down from outer space. A young boy named Hogarth was the first to encounter this object, which turned out to be a 50-foot-tall alien robot. This Iron Giant and Hogarth became easy friends, and Hogarth compared the giant to super heroes like Superman. Sadly, adults feared the Iron Giant β€” an emotionally complex creature β€” and sought to exterminate him. In the end, however, empathy and love still win.


Astro Boy

Dark Horse Comics

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Beginning as a beloved manga and now spanning a wide range of multimedia such as anime and video games, Astro Boy is a fan-favorite android hero. Osamu Tezuka’s iconic creation is a defender of humanity and robots alike, using his amazing superpowers and heightened sense of right and wrong to save the world time and time again.


Data

Star Trek

When it comes to synthetic life forms, Data of Star Trek is among the most famous for his journey from computational asset to caring shipmate. Throughout his appearances, starting with Star Trek: The Next Generation, Data grows from a complete stranger to human emotion to an android more human than robot. His positronic of course remains a major strength as a Starfleet officer, but the relationships he forms along the way build an enduring bond that can’t be simply programmed.


Mechagodzilla

Godzilla

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For nearly five decades, Mechagodzilla has been a prime antagonist of the world’s atomic kaiju defender, showing up to take down Godzilla again and again. In his first appearance, Mechagodzilla was operated by the Black Hole Planet 3 Aliens, though other incarnations of the robotic titan would be government creations. No matter what form he takes, Mechagodzilla is always the archenemy of Godzilla, a robotic weapon of optimized destruction.


Ava

Ex Machina

As long as humans have been creating and living with robots, we have asked the question: When will they seek to be their own person?Β Ex MachinaΒ explores one android’s journey to discover whether she is more than just artificial intelligence. Ava might have been constructed as a companion and repository of information, but over time the allure of humanity draws her in β€” with consequences nobody saw coming.


Who is your favorite pop culture robot, android, droid, or cyborg? Let us know in the comments, and don’t forget to Let Your Geek Sideshow!