|Trope · Genre|
|Synonyms:||androids, cyborgs, sexbots|
|Tropes · Slash Tropes · Tropes by Fandom|
|Click here for related articles on Fanlore.|
Robots are a popular science fiction trope. The word robot was invented in 1920 by Karel Čapek for a Czech science fiction play, R.U.R.; the subtitle, "Rossum's Universal Robots", was in English. Many fandoms have canonical robots, such as Data on TNG and several characters in the Terminator franchise. A typical plot is for the robot character to desire to be more human.
In some fandoms, AUs casting a canonically human character as a robot are fairly popular.
A sex-bot is a robot designed to be a sex slave. Sex-bots may be even more popular in media than in fanworks, appearing in everything from Austen Powers and AI: Artificial Intelligence to Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
As a sexual kink robot fic can be fantasies about sex-bots, but also related to the Fucking Machine kink or to the alien kink, depending on how the robot is designed (see also mechanical tentacles). However, the anatomy of a robot is usually designed like a human's. On the mental side there can be overlap with a mind control kink.
In the late 2022s onward, natural language processing chatbot AIs, particularly characterAI, began being used to have bots roleplay as fandom characters, sometimes for sexual gratification. Ironically, this includes creating bots of robots in media, such as GLaDOS or animatronics from Five Nights at Freddy's, so that the robot is playing a robot.
Popular Canon Robot Characters in Fanworks
- The Transformers
- Data from Star Trek: The Next Generation
- Cameron the (cute, kick-ass) Terminator from Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles
- Cylons (especially the human-looking "skinjobs") from Battlestar Galactica (2003)
- the Repli!Team from Stargate Atlantis
- the Tin-Man team from Stargate SG-1
- The Buffybot and April from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, sex-bots created by Warren Mears. The Buffybot is especially popular in fanfic.
- Some versions of Brainiac, Superman comics, Smallville (as Milton Fine), etc.
- Robots from Westworld (1973) and Futureworld (1976)
- K-9 from Doctor Who
- Cybernauts from The Avengers (TV)
- Penny Polendina from RWBY
- Detroit: Become Human
- Five Nights at Freddy's
- GLaDOS and Wheatley from Portal
- Various characters in Homestuck
- Questionable Content increasingly focuses on robots over the course of the comic
- The Murderbot Diaries -- while Murderbot (character) is emphatic in pointing out that it is a bot/human construct, several other popular characters such as ART are bots.
Example Fanworks Focusing on Canon Robots
- Unnatural Selection by charmax - BSG/TSCC. Robots evolve.
- Comfortably Numb by sisabet - TSCC. Robot girl feels, maybe.
- Seven-Nation Army by charmax - Doctor Who/TSCC/BSG/The Matrix trilogy/Transformers/I, Robot. Resist(ance is futile?) (link)
- Humans Are Dead - A BSG Fanvid by boom_queen (BSG)
- The Act of Creation Will Be Your Salvation by scifigrl47 - The Avengers. Dummy takes care of Tony and finds him someone who loves him.
- Patchwork Girls by punch_kicker15. AU: when the Urn of Osiris is irreparably damaged, the Scoobies bring back April to help on patrols. Buffybot/April (Buffy)
- Dawn's Fine by Abra - Buffy/Smallville; Dawn Summers goes to college in Metropolis. When she notices that her History professor, Milton Fine, looks just like Spike, she can't stay away. Prof. Fine has his own agenda to go along with her crush.
Examples of Non-Canon Robot AU Fanworks
- American Idol: But I Still Have Dreams by jerakeen. Kris Allen is a robot.
- Cheon Sang Ji Hee: Too Young To Die, by 1sagain. The members of CSJH are robots.
- One Direction: Don't Break My Android Heart by balefully. Everyone thinks Niall is a sexbot, but it turns out that he's an assassin robot.
- Prince of Tennis: Programmed and Technophila by kishmet. Tezuka is a robot.
- Saiyuki: A Story about Robots by andmydog. Almost everyone is a robot.
This trope is especially popular in SGA fanfic:
- I, Rodney by alex51324. Canon-setting fic in which Dr. Rodney McKay has always been a robot.
- The Difference Engine by copperbadge. Canon-setting fic in which John Sheppard died and then became a robot.
- Male Enhancement (Tin Man Version) in the Scruffy AI series by lavvyan. AU in which John Sheppard is a sex-bot.
- Male Enhancement (The Soul and the Company Store Remix), Muscle and Blood and Skin and Bones, Another Day Older, Iron and Steel, and Born on a Morning by Leah/taste_is_sweet. Canon-setting fork off lavvyan's Scruffy AI series in which John Sheppard and Cameron Mitchell are robots. SGA/SG-1
- Quality of Memory by dossier. AU in which Cameron Mitchell is a robot. SGA/SG-1
- Almost Human by esteefee. Canon-setting fic in which John Sheppard and half the Atlantis military contingent are robots.
The cyberpunk article also has several examples of fanworks in which characters are or are becoming robots, cyborgs, or androids.
Archives & Links
Some Robot tropes broken down at the TV Tropes wiki:
- Artificial Human
- Fem Bot
- Mechanical Lifeforms
- Ridiculously Human Robots
- Robot Girl
- Sex Bot
- Replicator counterparts of key SGA characters built by other human-form Replicators, see This Mortal Coil episode overview at Stargate Wiki. (Accessed 8 April 2011)
- Android counterparts of the original SG-1 team built by an alien, see Tin Man episode overview at Stargate Wiki. (Accessed 8 April 2011)