50 Greatest Human Robot Friendships

Robot And Frank (2012)

The Robot: The latest in mod cons, Robot (voiced by Peter Sarsgaard), is the perfect servant for anybody who needs full-time care.

The Human: Frank (Frank Langella), an elderly cat burglar suffering from dementia who is given Robot as his carer.

The Friendship: Unorthodox – this is one robot unversed in the ethical codes of Asimov, allowing Frank to train him up as the perfect accomplice in a string of jewellery thefts.

Robot And Frank is released this week, but as you’re about to read, it isn’t the first time robot and human have forged a friendship.

Meet The Robinsons (2007)

The Robot: Carl, a gold-plated robot built by the mysterious Cornelius Robinson.

The Human: Cornelius’ son Wilbur, a time cop from the year 2037 for whom Carl acts as assistant, cook and protector.

The Friendship: Short-lived, given that Carl is soon destroyed. But check out the presence of Lewis, a kid from the present day who – thanks to the film’s timey-wimey shenanigans – will one day become Cornelius and build Carl for his friend Wilbur.

Iron Man (2008)

The Robot: A robotic arm in the research laboratories of Stark Industries, designed to provide assistance for heavy-duty handling.

The Human: Tony Stark, inventor and billionaire playboy, who is in the process of switching from amoral arms dealer to metal suited Avenger.

The Friendship: The arm is so crap that Stark calls it ‘Butterfingers,’ but it’s more of an affectionate nickname than an insult. Clearly, Tony has enough cash to repair or replace the arm if he wanted to.

Clash Of The Titans (1981)

The Robot: Bubo, a mechanical replica of the owl owned by Athena, the Goddess of Wisdom.

The Human: Zeus’ human son Perseus (Harry Hamlin), on a perilous mission to capture the severed head of the Medusa in order to defeat the Kraken.

The Friendship: It’s amazing how useful an annoying owl can be in helping a mortal defeat a ginormous sea monster and a stone-faced, serpent-haired she-beast.

The Stepford Wives (2004)

The Robot: Mike Wellington (Christopher Walken), the supposed leader of an all-male cult who turn their wives into characterless drones. But if Mike is the robot, who’s the power behind the throne?

The Human: Claire Wellington (Glenn Close), the only human amongst the Stepford Wives, who killed the real Mike after discovering he was having an affair.

The Friendship: Whatever happened to feminism? Claire willingly cedes authority to her robot hubbie, in the misguided belief that she’s created an ideal community.

Sleeper (1973)

The Robot: Rags The Dog, a cybernetic pet who just wants to be your friend. “Woof, woof!”

The Human: Jazz musician (Woody Allen), cryogenically frozen for 200 years and forced to contend with a dystopian future.

The Friendship: Fleeting – Miles has too much to do to throw the dog a bone. But we like to think that Rags is out there somewhere, looking for him.

Saturn 3 (1980)

The Robot: Hector, a “demigod” robot who has been built with living brain tissue in order to allow him to be programmed by a human.

The Human: Benson (Harvey Keitel), a psychopathic killer masquerading as a space captain in order to cheat his way aboard the Saturn 3 space station.

The Friendship: Well, you could call it that. Certainly, after Benson has programmed Hector, the latter takes on the nutter’s homicidal longings and his lust for Farrah Fawcett.

Bill And Ted’s Bogus Journey (1991)

The Robot: Good’ replicas of William ‘Bill’ S. Preston (Alex Winter) and Theodore ‘Ted’ Logan (Keanu Reeves), created by the alien Station to fight their ‘evil’ counterparts.

The Human: The real Bill and Ted, wandering around in a stoned surf-dude daze as they contemplate all of these Doppelgangers.

The Friendship: Strictly utilitarian; once the good robots have defeated the bad guys, there is no longer any need for them.

SpaceCamp (1986)

The Robot: Jinx, a hapless NASA robot with a bad habit of taking things literally.

The Human: Max (Joaquin Phoenix), a wannabe astronaut whose wish to be in outer space is made possible by Jinx.

The Friendship: As they put it, they are “friends forever,” so Jinx has his work cut out at Ground Control trying to get Max safely back to Earth.

Rocky IV (1985)

The Robot: SICO, a robot helper given as a gift by Rocky Balboa to his brother-in-law Paulie (Burt Young).

The Human: Paulie, who doesn’t really need any encouragement to be waited on hand and foot.

The Friendship: Close. Too close, according to some Internet scholars who have interpreted the film as implying that SICO is Paulie’s sex-bot.

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