Created By: kordova on October 9, 2011 Last Edited By: Arivne on January 1, 2018

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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[[Please add a well written and clear Description here]]

Maid robots, construction robots, other unrealistic one-thing robots. Etc. Etc. Etc.


Examples

Western Animation
Community Feedback Replies: 24
  • October 9, 2011
    Lumpenprole
    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
    randomsurfer
    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
    FrodoGoofballCoTV
    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
    NateTheGreat
    I think the name Single Task Robot is a bit clearer and easier to search for.
  • October 9, 2011
    SKJAM
    Opposite of Do Anything Robot.
  • October 9, 2011
    wanderlustwarrior
  • October 9, 2011
    SKJAM
    Can happen to s Single Task Robot if they're moved to a new environment, yes.
  • October 9, 2011
    PaulA
    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
    PaulA
    • 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
    Mozgwsloiku
    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
    Arivne
  • October 13, 2011
    CrypticMirror
    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
    Hadashi

  • October 14, 2011
    oztrickster
    Other Futurama examples include Robot Santa, Hedonism Bot, Don Bot, Robot Devil and Kwanzaabot.
  • December 30, 2017
    Lumpenprole
    Extreme Futurama example: the world champion baseball batter is a robot that is simply a box with an arm holding the bat. When Fry and Leela complain it has an unfair advantage, Bender accuses them of prejudice.
  • December 30, 2017
    zarpaulus
    Needs a description.
  • December 30, 2017
    oneuglybunny
    Video Games
    • Factorio available on Steam involves the player building robots to extract materials from an alien world with which to assemble a spaceship and stock it with sufficient provisions. Of course, each robot can only perform one task: digging, drilling, plowing, seeding, et cetera. Further robots must be built whose sole purpose is to convey one robot's output to another robot for further processing; this is likely to include an automated railroad for moving materials in bulk. All these mostly stationary robots, however, impinge on the planet's wildlife, causing them to revolt and stampede these robots to reclaim their territory. This necessitates constructing defense robots to impede the renegade critters.
  • December 30, 2017
    TrueShadow1
    • The Fal'Cie from Final Fantasy XIII are half-organic, half-mechanical beings. They are created with a specific task, and despite being sentient, cannot go against that task. For example, Phoenix' task is to act as the sun, Kujata's is to be a power plant, and Carbuncle's is to oversee the food production system. There are also many minor, unnamed Fal'Cie whose task is as mundane as automatic doors.
  • December 31, 2017
    Arivne
    • Capitalized the title.
    • Added a Description stub.
    • Corrected spelling (constuction).
    • Created Examples section and put examples in it.
    • Examples section

    All of the OP examples are Zero Context Examples and have been marked as such. They need more information to show how they fit the trope. Please don't remove the marking unless you add enough context.
  • December 31, 2017
    Arivne
    Compare In The Future We Still Have Roombas, which is about how robots are nondescript machines for mundane labor.
  • December 31, 2017
    Basara-kun
    I like the idea of the draft, but I put it a bomb because OP can't expect to post something so vague and see how we complete HIS work (better ideas had been discarded here by using same OP's modus operandi).

    If OP is still alive and complete more this, then I should change my bomb for a hat
  • December 31, 2017
    henke37
    The factorio example is dubious. Most, if not all, of the mentioned tasks are not done by robots, but just machinery.
  • January 1, 2018
    Arivne
    ^^ The OP kordova left TV Tropes back in 2011, so they won't be coming back and completing this.
  • January 1, 2018
    CelestiaCadenceLuna
    • Rickand Morty features a robot whose sole purpose is to pass the butter to Rick when Rick is having breakfast.
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