A robot or other physically autonomous machine guided by a level of intelligence and a homicidal urge to Kill All Humans. Prone to ending sentences with exclamation points as well as Spock Speak. Killer Robots are so common because A.I. Is a Crapshoot.
Humanoid killer robots abound, such as the original R.U.R., or those in Doctor Who's subtly named serial The Robots of Death. However, killing machines come in all shapes and sizes; from robotic dreadnoughts in space to airborne robo-fighters, through small drones and down to microscopic or even nanoscopic killers.
Although the traditional versions of this trope were robots built in a Mad Scientist Laboratory who Turned Against Their Masters, today a more common plot involves the villain finding and turning the switch on a kid's Robot Buddy from "good" to "evil", forcing the cast to either destroy it or find a way to turn it back. Especially scary because this was a good friend who has become completely heartless and bent on death.
- A.I. Is a Crapshoot
- Attack Drone
- Cyber Cyclops
- Gray Goo
- Hostile Animatronics
- Humongous Mecha
- Mechanical Monster
- Morality Dial
- Murderous Malfunctioning Machine
- Robotic Psychopath
- Robot Soldier
- Robot War
- Techno Dystopia
- Terminator Impersonator
See "Second Law" My Ass! for a milder form of this behavior.
Examples (please only put examples here that don't fit into any of the subtropes listed above):
- Shakara: Shakara is a relentless killing machine designed to avenge the destruction of the noble Skakara race at the hands of the coalition of alien empires. He's fucking unstoppable, destroying entire fleets and massacring evil aliens by the billions.
- Wonder Woman Vol 1: Professor Menace builds a killer Wonder Woman robot, which functions just as he'd intended until Wondy shorts it out in a fight.
- Isaac Asimov:
- The Complete Robot: Throughout this collection, Dr Asimov calls this trope Robots-as-Menace; stories where the audience is expected to fear technology/science because the robot that represents our advancement turns violent and dangerous.
- "Lenny": US Robots has an alarm for 'Robot out of control'. This story is the first time it is ever used, and at first nobody recognizes what it is for.
- "The Tercentenary Incident": Edwards expresses concern that a robot, bound by the Three Laws, has found a way to circumvent the First Law by getting an accomplice to kill the President so that he can replace them.
- In Rama II, The cosonauts especially R Eggie discover that the crab biots can be killer robots if attacked. The crab biots (along with centipede and other biots) perform maintenance on the spaceship. When Brown goes ahead with a capture plan that was hasty, after the biots resisted his initial capture by hunkering down, the robots go after Sabatini, and Reggie drives his vehicle into one to protect them. For all his troubles, since he gets stuck in the vehicle and it is destroyed, he is torn apart, alive, by the crab biots which are none the worse for wear.