Created By: kordova on October 9, 2011

Very job specific robots

A robot that can only bend, one that can only toast, one that can only transport things.

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Bender from futurama, there are a few like these aswell.

My life as a teenage robot also has a few, at a technology exposition.

Maid robots, constuction robots, other unrealistic one-thing robots. Etc. Etc. Etc.
Community Feedback Replies: 14
  • October 9, 2011
    Real Life: before the microchip revolution, futurists thought that all of a home's automated devices would be controlled by a master computer. Now your stove has it's own computer, as does your coffee maker, your entertainment center, your phone, etc. It was Asimov who thought that it would be "easier" to build all-purpose humanoid robots that could do all the tasks then done manually, rather than giving everything it's own special purpose "brain". May never happen unless self-replicating general AI becomes possible.
  • October 9, 2011
    Needs Better Examples than all these X Just X ones.
    • Isaac Asimov's Caliban is set in a world with lots of robots, but the fact of the matter is that robots are so cheap and omnipresent and slavelike that people use them in situations where they don't need a robot.
      I have seen robots - functional, capable robots - told to stand underwater and hold the anchorline of a sailboat. I know a woman who has one robot whose sole duty is to brush her teeth for her, and hold the brush in between times.
  • October 9, 2011
    Some thoughts:

    Film - Animated:
    • In Wall E, most robots have a specific function. Wall-E himself is designed to process trash, despite having an AI capable of falling in love.

    Film - Live Action:
    • In Star Wars, there are assassin droids, protocol droids, starship navigation droids, etc. However, most droids are more than capable of many tasks, they're just designed for one primary purpose.
    • Blade Runner features some of the most humanlike robots ever conceived (in fact, one might argue they're not really robots but Gattaca Babies used as slaves under the pretext of technology), but in their profile, each is listed as being designed for a specific role in society.

    Real Life:

    In Real Life, robots designed for a specific job are Truth In Television, because robots capable of handling many jobs have proven more difficult to design than simple robots that only do one thing better than a human. It's often the software, rather than the hardware, that's the challenge.
    • Automatons are entertainment robots that appear to be capable of many tasks, but on close examination are actually repeating the same movements over and over again, until they are turned off and reprogrammed. Newer models can store many minutes of action, so it's not always easy to tell (They can seem startlingly lifelike, as seen here).
    • Industrial robots, often used in the auto industry, as seen here, usually have a very specific function, such as a robot that only does spot welds or only applies a certain color of paint. Of course, if necessary, they can be taken offline, equipped with different tools, and reprogrammed for a different task, but that usually only happens when the assembly line is tasked with a new model.
    • Some military / police robots are also specialists, such as a robot that locates and either deactivates, removes, or sets off car bombs, as seen here.
  • October 9, 2011
    I think the name Single Task Robot is a bit clearer and easier to search for.
  • October 9, 2011
    Opposite of Do Anything Robot.
  • October 9, 2011
  • October 9, 2011
    Can happen to s Single Task Robot if they're moved to a new environment, yes.
  • October 9, 2011
    To clarify, is this specifically humanoid robots, who could seemingly do a wide variety of tasks, having a single specific purpose? Or does it include robots (like the real-life examples) that have been designed for a specific purpose and aren't actually capable of anything else?
  • October 9, 2011
    • The plot of "The Proud Robot" by Henry Kuttner revolves around an eccentric inventor setting out to create a simple device for a single purpose, and going overboard and ending up with a Do Anything Robot with all kinds of extra abilities -- which refuses to obey any order not relating to the original single purpose.
  • October 12, 2011
    In Warhammer40000 You can become one - since (after one inevitable machine rebellion) creating true A Is is considered a blasphemy, tasks that would be given to single-task robots are instead given to servitors - cyborg slaves lobotomised to keep them "single purpose" and focused on their tasks.
  • October 13, 2011
  • October 13, 2011
    In theory Bender from Futurama, he's supposed to be a bending-unit, that is only capable of bending girders. In practice, not so much. It's occasionally brought up that he is supposed to be just for bending stuff, but only when Rule Of Funny requires it.
  • October 13, 2011

  • October 14, 2011
    Other Futurama examples include Robot Santa, Hedonism Bot, Don Bot, Robot Devil and Kwanzaabot.