We try to write about robots in every Bathroom Reader so we'll be in their good graces when they inevitably take over the world. With that in mind, here are some notable TV robots.
Robot: The Robot
Series: Lost in Space (1965-68)
Specs: His primary objective: to keep the Robinson family, especially the youngest member, Will (Bill Mumy) safe as they bumble their way through space. Despite giving the robot that important task, the Robinsons never bothered to give it a name, though it's technically a Class M-3 Model B9, General Utility Nontheorizing Environment Control Robot.
Memorable quote: "Danger! Danger!"
Series: The Jetsons (1962-63, 1985-87)
Specs: Rosie, a Model XB-500 from U-RENT-A-MAID, diligently serves as everything from a housekeeper to a nanny for "Mr. J's" futuristic family, and, for reasons, unknown, speaks with a Brooklyn accent. Sentient and caring, she even has a boyfriend, Mac, the robot assistant of the building superintendent Henry Orbit.
Memorable quote: "I swear on my mother's rechargeable batteries!"
Robots: Vicki and Vanessa
Series: Small Wonder (1985-89)
Specs: In this sitcom, inventor Ted Lawson has created a Voice Input Child Identicant (code name "Vic(k)i") robot, which he and his family pass off as a real human child. Even though Vicki (Tiffany Brissette) always wears the same red-and-white dress, speaks in a robotic monotone, and "eats" and "drinks" through the use of a coolant system, nobody ever catches on. The Lawsons send her to school, but also use her as a domestic servant and keep her in a cabinet at night. And Ted repeatedly attempts to replace Vicki with a newer model named Vanessa (also played by Brissette). Vanessa acts more human than Vicki, but has more independent thoughts- she gets mad at the Lawsons and tries to burn down their house, and, in the series finale, sabotages their trip to Hollywood.
Memorable quote (Vanessa): "I'm smart, I'm talented, and I'll step on anyone who gets in my way."
Series: Buck Rogers in the 25th Century (1979-81)
Specs: Twiki, a cute Model 22-23-0T Ambuquad, serves as a sidekick for the human Buck Rogers. Despite being an advanced, fully-functioning humanoid robot during a time in which interstellar space travel is possible, Twiki suffers from (or is programmed with) a debilitating stutter, making him a source of comic relief.
Memorable quote: "Bidi-bidi-bidi."
Series: Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987-94)
Specs: Perhaps because the series is set in the more enlightened 24th century, Data, a sentient android, is treated as a near-equal by the Enterprise's crew. He serves as a lieutenant commander and chief of operations. His superiority over his carbon-based colleagues enables him to pull the ship out of numerous jams over seven seasons. Despite this, Data inexplicably strives to become "more and more human" as the series progresses.
Memorable quote: "If you prick me, do I not ...leak?"
Series: Futurama (1999-2003, 2010-present)
Specs: Built by Mom's Friendly Robot Company in a Mexican factory, Bender (his full name is "Bender Bending Rodriguez") is the face of the huge robot population in "New New York," circa the year 3000. Built to bend girders and powered by alcohol (he acts drunk if he ever stops drinking), Bender and millions of other robots live alongside humans, mocking them to their faces and entertaining them with robot-based soap operas like All My Circuits, while openly talking of overthrowing the planet.
Memorable quote: "Bite my shiny metal a**!"
___________________The article above was reprinted with permission from Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader Tunes Into TV.
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