Created By: CalamityJane on December 25, 2011 Last Edited By: CalamityJane on February 7, 2012
Troped

Raised By Robots

A robot raises a child

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An artificial lifeform raises a normal child, whatever the 'normal' standard is. The reasoning can be different each time; sometimes the parents are absent, but still around, leaving the robot as their only friend. Other times the parents are dead outright leaving the robot to be the only parental figure the child has.

Compare Raised by Wolves, Robo Family. Sub-Trope of Promotion to Parent.
Advertising
  • There's a Geico ad where a woman tries to save money by enrolling her children in a daycare run by robots. It does not go well.

Anime

Comic Books
  • Magnus Robot Fighter: Our hero was raised by the freewilled robot A-1, who trained him in robot fighting.
  • In the Sillage Prequel Series Navis the title character is raised on a jungle planet by a robot. However, she can also apparently talk to the local animals and has a tiger-like creature for a friend, so it kinda overlaps with Wild Child.

Film

Literature
  • The book I, Robot opens with the first short story about a young girl named Gloria and her nursemaid who happens to be a mute robot. The plot of the book is to get him back after Gloria's mother returns him to the factory for fear of her daughter coming out strange due to the influence of the robot.
  • This was discussed in a short story by Spider Robinson, in which a time traveler, interested in studying the nature of humans, travels through time to ask a wise man whether an experiment was ethical: kidnapping children otherwise doomed to die in order to have them raised by robots using a language stripped of all religious references to see if they develop religion. The catch? The intensely curious wise man doesn't get to know the outcome of the experiment if he says it was unethical to kidnap the doomed children.
  • In Edda by Conor Kostick, the main character, Penelope, was raised by a sentient artificial intelligence being. From his virtual world, he is able to control the life support in the real world that keeps Penelope alive, and he raises her: her body is kept alive by his controlling the machines, and her mind is hooked up to the virtual reality equipment that puts her in Edda.
  • In a couple of Philip K. Dick 's stories a totally sociopathic character is this due to robots replacing families.

Live Action TV
  • Zev bellringer in Lexx was raised by malfunctioning robots after being sold to the wife bank on the planet B3K.
  • The sociopathic villain of the Doctor Who story "The Robots of Death" was raised by robots.
  • An episode of Welcome To Paradox was about a facility where humans are raised by androids, and free humans from outside trying to free them.
  • The Twilight Zone episode "I sing the Body electric" is about children who were raised by a robotic nanny, and grow up to love her as a mother. It was remade into a TV movie name The Electric Grandmother
  • Deconstructed in a Star Trek: The Next Generation, where Data creates a robot daughter and attempts to raise her. She actually surpasses Data in her ability to simulate humans, such as using contractions and briefly experiencing fear. She ends up "dying" in the end, from irreparable damage to her "brain".

Web Comics
  • In Girl Genius Agatha was raised by constructs, and Gil and Theo considered their construct caretaker to be like a parent.

Western Animation
  • Played for Laughs in Futurama with the Nannybots manufactured by Mom's Friendly Robot Company.
    SLEEP LITTLE DUMPLING, FOR I HAVE REPLACED YOUR MOTHER.
  • Zim from Invader Zim loved the cold unfeeling robot hand that raised him.
  • Zig-Zagged by Sari from Transformers Animated. She's a human raised by a human, who later loses her father to kidnapping and has to live with the Autobots in a warehouse until he shows up. Then it's revealed that she's a techno-organic, which means that she was a robot raised by a human raised as a human later partly raised by robots.
  • The robotic nanny from The Jetsons.
  • Sidekick: Eric is left alone to run amok with only Maxum Brain, a hyperintelligent computer, to keep him in check.
  • On Legion of Super-Heroes, Superman-X was cloned from Superman's DNA and raised by the robot(s) who created him.
  • Buzz Lightyear of Star Command has a less dramatic example: one episode features a human girl adopted by robot parents, but in this world robots are sapient and emotive, so it's not really any weirder than, say, a white family adopting a black kid.
  • In the Donald Duck cartoon "Modern Inventions", Donald sees a robot nanny in an exhibition and decides to test her out by pretending to be a baby. Turns out the robot is still a little buggy and treats him rather roughly.
Community Feedback Replies: 27
  • December 25, 2011
    nman
    Why not just call it "Raised by Robots" or something like that, instead of using a line of dialogue?
  • December 25, 2011
    CalamityJane
    Both names are snowclones (I Hate You Vampire Dad, Raised By Wolves). I'm okay with either name, but for now I'm sticking with the original.
  • December 25, 2011
    Arivne
    @Calamity Jane: You need to change the title so it isn't a line of dialog. If you don't, the site's moderators will Cut List it as soon as it's launched.

    The reason is explained on the Naming A Trope page.

    Raised By Robots would be a good interim name unless someone can think of a better one.
  • December 25, 2011
    Psychobabble6
    I rather like Raised By Robots.
  • December 25, 2011
    Qmarkthe2nd
    • Played For Laughs in Futurama with the Nannybots manufactured by Mom's Friendly Robot Company.
      SLEEP LITTLE DUMPLING, FOR I HAVE REPLACED YOUR MOTHER.
  • December 25, 2011
    JonnyB
    There's a Geico ad where a woman tries to save money by enrolling her children in a daycare run by robots. It does not go well.
  • December 25, 2011
    VincentGaribaldi
    Zim from Invader Zim loved the cold unfeeling robot hand that raised him.
  • December 25, 2011
    Amaryllis
    In Girl Genius Agatha was raised by constructs, and Gil and Theo considered their construct caretaker to be like a parent.
  • January 12, 2012
    CalamityJane
    Bump
  • January 12, 2012
    CalamityJane
    Magnus Robot Fighter: Our hero was raised by the freewilled robot A-1, who trained him in robot fighting,
  • January 12, 2012
    LeeM
    Comic Books: In the Sillage Prequel Series Navis the title character is raised on a jungle planet by a robot. However, she can also apparently talk to the local animals and has a tiger-like creature for a friend, so it kinda overlaps with Wild Child.
  • January 12, 2012
    surgoshan
    • This was discussed in a short story by Spider Robinson, in which a time traveler, interested in studying the nature of humans, travels through time to ask a wise man whether an experiment was ethical: kidnapping children otherwise doomed to die in order to have them raised by robots using a language stripped of all religious references to see if they develop religion. The catch? The intensely curious wise man doesn't get to know the outcome of the experiment if he says it was unethical to kidnap the doomed children.
  • January 13, 2012
    Dawnwing
    • In Edda by Conor Kostick, the main character, Penelope, was raised by a sentient artificial intelligence being. From his virtual world, he is able to control the life support in the real world that keeps Penelope alive, and he raises her: her body is kept alive by his controlling the machines, and her mind is hooked up to the virtual reality equipment that puts her in Edda.
  • January 14, 2012
    GiantSpaceChinchilla
    • Zev bellringer in Lexx was raised by malfunctioning robots after being sold to the wife bank on the planet B3K.
  • January 15, 2012
    CalamityJane
    • In a couple of Philip K Dick 's stories a totally sociopathic character is this due to robots replacing families.
  • January 15, 2012
    CalamityJane
    Would you mind fixing your pothole, Erpegis?
  • January 15, 2012
    PaulA
    • The sociopathic villain of the Doctor Who story "The Robots of Death" was raised by robots.
  • January 16, 2012
    CalamityJane
    • An episode of Welcome To Paradox was about a facility where human are raised by androids, and free humans from outside trying to free them.
  • January 16, 2012
    CalamityJane
    Would Sari from Transformers Animated be an inversion?
  • January 20, 2012
    CalamityJane
    In the Star Wars Expanded Universe, Han Solo and Princess Leia have a robot nanny for their children.
  • January 20, 2012
    CalamityJane
    Anime
  • January 20, 2012
    CalamityJane
    Live Action TV
    • The Twilight Zone episode "I sing the Body electric" is about children who were raised by a robotic nanny, and grow up to love her as a mother. It was remade into a TV movie name The Electric Grandmother
  • January 29, 2012
    Rognik
    • Western Animation/Sidekick: Eric is left alone to run amok with only Maxum Brain, a hyperintelligent computer, to keep him in check.
    • Deconstructed in a Star Trek The Next Generation, where Data creates a robot daughter and attempts to raise her. She actually surpasses Data in her ability to simulate humans, such as using contractions and briefly experiencing fear. She ends up "dying" in the end, from irreparable damage to her "brain".
  • February 5, 2012
    FrodoGoofballCoTV
    • In Isaac Asimov's Robot novels, this is the standard practice on the planet Solaria, where robots outnumber humans by over a thousand to one and perform all manual labor. Solarian culture disdains direct physical contact between human beings. This practice presumably is common on other spacer worlds as well, though the human:robot ratio is far less extreme.
  • February 5, 2012
    DaibhidC
    • In Hyperdrive, Jeffers was apparently raised by a computer simulation of his dad. Until they had a fight when he was a teenager and he deleted it in anger.
  • February 5, 2012
    CalamityJane
    In the Donald Duck cartoon "Modern Inventions", Donald sees a robot nanny in an exhibition and decides to test her out by pretending to be a baby. Turns out the robot is still a little buggy and treats him rather roughly.
  • February 5, 2012
    KevinKlawitter
    One episode of Buzz Lightyear Of Star Command had Savy SL-2, an orphan girl who was adopted by robots before they were, in turn, killed by the energy vampire NOS-4-A2
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