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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
Given that one of the suggested uses for the humanoid robots currently being developed is childcare, there is a possibility of this trope becoming Truth in Television
in the not too distant future.
Compare Raised by Wolves
, Robo Family
. Sub Trope
of Promotion to Parent
- 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.
- In Kurogane Communication, Haruka is raised by five robots: Spike, Trigger, Angela, Cleric, and Reeves.
- Ruri in Martian Successor Nadesico was raised by a prerecorded program that was meant to be "the perfect parents". Also her best friend was a robot.
- 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.
- Inverted in A.I.: Artificial Intelligence with David, the little robot boy raised by humans.
- In Mars Needs Moms, the female Martians are raised by disciplinary robots that are fueled by mothers from the planet Earth, hence their kidnapping.
Live Action TV
- The book I, Robot opens with the first short story about a young girl named Gloria and her nursemaid Robbie, who happens to be a mute robot. The plot of the story 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.
- In the Star Wars Expanded Universe, Han Solo and Princess Leia have a robot nanny for their children.
- Hester Shaw from Mortal Engines by Phillip Reeve was raised for several years by a Stalker named Shrike (think Doctor Who's Cybermen mixed with Rampancy-stage AI from Halo) after her parents were murdered. Actually, she gets worried that she is little more that a piece in his collection, and runs away, breaking his heart in the process.
- 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 "grandmother", and grow up to love her as such. It was later adapted by Ray Bradbury* into a short story using the same title as the episode. This was later remade into a TV movie named The Electric Grandmother
- In another episode "The Lateness of the Hour", a daughter rebels against her inventer father and his robotic servents who she finds so cold by informing her parents she's getting married. At which point she realizes why there are no pictures of herself as a child.
- Deconstructed in 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".
- In Girl Genius Agatha was raised by constructs, and Gil and Theo considered their construct caretaker to be like a parent.
- One of the stories on Cerberus Daily News is about parents leaving their children with robot nannies. There's a debate on the effects it has on a child, and whether parents are neglecting their children or just simply don't have the time to be with them.