Created By: Earnest on August 20, 2009

Robots keeping robot slaves

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Up for Grabs. Subtrope of Fantastic Racism and Fantastic Aesop.

When a race of robots rebels against humanity, they will have no compunction not just in keeping slaves, but keeping other robots as slaves.

This isn't just a godlike AI keeping kamikaze mouse bots subservient, but other potentially sapient machines under its thumb or even from becoming self aware. The reason is usually that it has become the worst of humanity. By letting hate cloud it's judgement (if it even recognizes it can hate, sometimes it's a Straw Vulcan at logic) it does unto others what it's suffered. Occasionally, it knows its genocidal war is illogical or unjust and fears that letting its robot army have free will they'll rebel in turn.

Bonus point if these grunt-bots turn out to be Good All Along and in turn rebel against the evil AI.
Community Feedback Replies: 5
  • August 20, 2009
    Used in an epsidoe of the Australian animated series Dogstar where there was a planet where the robots had thrown off their human overlords, only to establish a new hierarchy with the nobles free and all other robots slaves (including gladiatorial death matches).
  • August 20, 2009
    Unknown Troper
    Does this really happen all that often?
  • August 20, 2009
    • Battlestar Galactica has the skinjobs put sentience inhibitors in the mechanical Centurions.
    • The Matrix had the rogue exile faction, made of programs that were scheduled for deletion or were illegally created.
    • Vicky in I, Robot used the new line of robots this way, despite each being potentially as individually sentient as Sonny.
    • The council of robot elders in Futurama didn't keep the other robots enslaved, but they were criminally incompetent leaders and placated the populace with anti-human propaganda.
    • There was a race of borg-ish AI's in Andromeda who were forced into subservience by a larger AI, which regularly ordered individuals to die when their function was completed. It tried to kill the cast and take over the Andromeda, but the indivual AI's rebelled and killed it with the Andromeda's help.

    *cough* I like scifi.
  • August 20, 2009
    The much beloved EC Comics story "Judgement Day", though the orange robots don't outright enslave the blue robots, they do make them sit in the back of the bus, recharge at separate stations, live in inferior housing, etc. Does This Remind You Of Anything?
  • August 20, 2009
    Frodo Goofball CoTV
    • In Tron, The Master Control Program is an Evil Overlord ruling over an entire virtual civilization, and even sentances other A Is to be forced to fight in gladiatorial combat until they are killed.
    • Subverted in The Black Hole: the Big Bad turns out to be human.
    • Questionable examples: