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Mechanical Animals

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"Robotic canines that were originally created by Drek Industries. The Goons-4-Less often buy them in bulk for hunting down targets. They never use real dogs because, frankly, most of them are cat people."
—Description for the Robotmutt, Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart

Robot Animals are a form of robot which takes a heavy resemblance to animals, coincidental or not. When they appear in works, expect them to be the Team Pet or Loyal Animal Companion to the other members (although not always). They may also be used due to the fact that Robots Are Just Better - they don't smell or create excrement, and you can install weapons and other nifty devices onto them, not like an actual animal.

Finally, they may sometimes be used in locations where living animals are not allowed, (so for instance, apartments with strict no-animal rules and in space where living animals are at risk of dying). On the Sliding Scale of Robot Intelligence, expect them to be a 2 (cute, but not intelligent), although others have been depicted on other levels. They may be depicted as Mechanical Lifeforms and usually form part of a Mechanical Ecosystem.

Super-Trope to Robot Dog, Mechanical Horse, and Mechanical Insects. Related to Animal Mecha and Clockwork Creature. Super-sized versions of these are covered under Robeast.

This trope is not to be confused with the music album Mechanical Animals.


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  • One televised advert from the dairy industry avers: "If man was meant to eat margarine, Nature would have made a mechanical cow." Pictured is a ridiculous cow-shaped mechanism, chugging away atop a grassy knoll. The real cows in the same pasture move slowly away from this tin-plated abomination.

    Anime & Manga 
  • Anne Happy: Timothy, the cute talking robot rabbit that's been following Anne and her friends around. The reason why he's cute is so that the girls of Class 7 won't mind his presence when he's really used to monitor the girls for the school—for a benign reason, as he is Tsubaki's stand-in.
  • Doraemon films would occasionally include robotic animal sidekicks as the new Team Pet, including Chippo from Doraemon: Nobita and the Steel Troops (a robotic chick who hatched from an egg), Kurinpa from Doraemon: Nobita and the Robot Kingdom (a mechanical kangaroo-rodent critter) and Quiz from Doraemon: Nobita's Treasure Island (a Pirate Parrot robot).
  • My-HiME gives us the CHILDs, mechanical beasts that serve as summon creatures to protect their individual HiME. They are fueled by the love a HiME feels for her most important person, and their death equals the death of that person. The growth of that love also equals a growth in their power.
    • Mai has Kagutsuchi, something of a cross between a phoenix, a dragon, and an aircraft with jet engines, who, at one point, blasts off to outer space to deal with a Kill Sat.
    • Natsuki has Duran, a mechanical wolf with built in artillery with her choice of specialized shells for different effects, Chrome Cartridge for explosive ordinance, Silver Cartridge for ice barrage, and Flash Cartridge for blinding flashes of light. He can also change into a flying mode when called for, allowing Natsuki to ride him into battle. When Natsuki realizes that she actually loves Shizuru, he grows from the size of her motorcycle to Kaiju-size.
    • Akira has Gennai, a giant frog with huge floodlights for a special shadow-pinning ninja attack, and a huge retractable mace for a tongue.
    • Shiho has Yatagarasu, a dark, crowlike beast with a laser beam from its mouth and feather projectiles that can slice their target to ribbons.
    • Akane has Hari, a Lion-like CHILD who comes equiped with powerful intakes that draw in their target and shred them like a wood-chipper. Hari is the first CHILD to fall in battle, and cause the death of Akane's beloved, Kazuya.
    • Midori, who thinks she's the star of a Sentai show, has Gakuten-O, a CHILD who has a long tail with a protruding blade at the end which, interestingly enough, it often has positioned forward over its nose. It can also fly, and transform into a chariot-like vehicle for Midori to ride on. He's capable of punching through an aircraft carrier with no ill effects to himself or his rider.
    • Sister Yukariko has St. Vulas, who resembles a giant knight from a chessboard with a unicorn horn. Vulas can also conjure deep illusions in a victim's mind before his flanks open, making him resemble a skeletal, monstrous birdlike thing, as the plates from his side come together to mash their ensnared prey to pulp.
    • Yukino has Diana, a plantlike being who can also release spores that function as surveillance cameras, and they can also create a cloaking field over a limited range.
    • Nao has Julia, a Dryder-type creature with a barbed stinger tail, and a humanoid torso and head that actually open up to reveal a gaping maw. Julia is also capable of spinning webs that can bind Nao's opponents (which she turns on Natsuki at least twice in ambush attacks).
    • Shizuru, whose CHILD Kiyohime is the last to debut, is a enormous six-headed Hydra with serpentine heads and necks, and an octopus-like body, which crushes two other CHILDs in its jaws (Julia and Diana), and can spray an acid-breath attack against her enemies. Kiyohime also enables Shizuru to single-handedly wipe out the sinister shadowy organization, First District/Distrct One, that had been menacing her Natsuki. Kiyohime's destruction by Duran causes the deaths of both Shizuru and Natsuki, though this was a part of a Heroic Sacrifice on Natsuki's part, and they get better.
  • Zoids: This centers around naturally occurring robotic animals humans use for combat, transportation, and other activities. While normally smaller animals such as foxes and turtles do get upscaled in the anime and toys to accommodate human pilots, normally large animals like elephants, whales, and dinosaurs are also present. The zoids can be upgraded with better armor and weaponry, with a few special ones such as the the lion-like ligers and the T-Rex like genos being able to undergo evolution. Later series introduced smaller zoids that could attach and augment the larger ones naturally, such as an owl that could enhance the sensory input of its partner.

    Asian Animation 
  • Mechamato: One of the bad alien robots that Mechamato faces is the hostile Goosar, a robotic goose who steals doors and appears to be equipped with speakers on its body which release visible sonic waves as attacks.

    Comic Books 
  • Bucky O'Hare and the Toad Wars!: Commander Dogstar's crew has ASC Rumblebee, a war bot in the shape of an anthropomorphic bumblebee (as opposed to main character AFC Blinky who is a small humanoid bot with an eyeball for a head). The style design allows for a gun to be built into Rumblebee's large thorax, letting him shift modes into a stationary maser cannon and provide heavy artillery support for the crew of the Indefatigable, as well a second gun enplacement for the ship itself.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie Comics): At one point, Tails creates T-Pup, a mechanical fox that behaves like a regular dog.
  • Spider-Man 2099: At one point, while Miguel and Dina visit their old boarding school, Miguel decides to take a walk at the surrounding town and runs into an old couple that sells mechanical dogs as pets. The one seen in the panel doesn't look very dog-like but it acts exactly like an overexcited puppy.

    Films — Animation 
  • BoBoiBoy: The Movie: The Tengkotak dispatch two machine-like animals to take care of their enemies.
    • Kurita is a mechanical octopus made by Yoyo Oo. At first, it appears harmless, but when it turns into a Giant Squid, it's far more metallic-looking, with turning gears at its sides and a circular shredder-like maw surrounded by 8 yellow pieces to form the beak. Also, it can fly.
    • J-Rex is a shark with robotic T. rex-like limbs attached to it, effectively making it a menacing Land Shark.
  • A key plot point in Dinosaur Train: Adventure Island is the giant robotic dinosaurs at the titular theme park, which anyone can ride on to see what being a different dinosaur is like.
  • The Incredibles: The Big Bad's Island Base includes a jungle populated by very realistic robot parrots. The parrots are part of the security system: if one finds a person who seems to not belong there, it asks for a "voice key". If it's incorrect, the bird will sound an alarm.
  • Sox, Buzz Lightyear's cat robot in Lightyear.
  • The Lorax (2012): One of O'Hare's surveillance tactics is a robot cat with cameras in its eyes that meows when it's alerted.
  • The Transformers: The Movie: Besides the Animal Mecha Transformers (Dinobots, Insecticons, Laserbeak, Ravage and Ratbat), there's also the mechanical underwater life of the planet Quintessa, including mechanical fishes that emulate the organic food chain (the bigger fishes eating the smaller ones) and a Giant Squid.

    Films — Live-Action 

  • The Cybercat by A. Starikov is a children's poem about a robotic cat who can do anything from catching mice to cooking dinner but nevertheless loves to be stroked and petted like a normal cat.
  • Ani-Droids by Rick Griffin has robots designed to look like cartoony anthropomorphic animals to avoid the Uncanny Valley.
  • Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? has the protagonist Rick Deckard maintain a mechanical sheep on his building's rooftop. Citizens are strongly encouraged to caretake domestic animals, which are dwindling on Earth at the time. An underground market arose that sells mechanical farm animals that can pass a spot check. This book would become the basis for the Blade Runner.
  • Horrible Science: In "Shocking Electricity", one prediction for the future involved a robot cat who was designed to be so much like a cat that the only things she couldn't do that a real cat could were catch mice and pee. She also possessed a milk bowl, which she stared into to predict the future.
  • The Long Earth: The AI Lobsang designs a robotic cat to be in charge of pest control aboard his dirigible as he and his friends make their trek across the Long Earth. Being the reincarnation of a Buddhist, Lobsang also designs it to nonlethally capture any rodents so they can be released later.
  • In Shop Till You Drop... Dead!, the Mad Scientist Dr. Sheila Mayfield creates horrific robot/animal hybrids with the intent of launching a new line of toys.
  • In The Voyage of Alice, robots from Shelezyaka build robotic animals to make their planet look more natural. They give several of these to Alice and her father, and it's mentioned that the animals take a liking to Alice (her father sees her cuddling a mechanical cat).
  • The War Against the Chtorr. In A Season for Slaughter, these are used as well-armed and artificially-intelligent scouts into the highly dangerous Chtorran nests.

    Live-Action TV 

    Myths & Religion 
  • Classical Mythology: Hephaestos sometimes built these, including the Khalkotauroi, bronze bulls that could breathe fire. Jason had to defeat them in order to win the Golden Fleece.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Dungeons & Dragons: A Dragon article about magical toys created by an eccentric wizard included "Golden, the Clockwork Cat", who was a construct possessed by the spirit of the wizard's late Familiar.
  • In the Star Toon setting for Toon, the science officer on the USS Oversize is a robot cat named Lt Commander Input.
  • Animalform cybershells and bioshells are reasonably common in Transhuman Space, both as pets (although if you want a smart pet an Uplifted Animal is a more popular choice) or to allow people to use them as a Remote Body and "be" a wild animal, this being particularly popular with fans of Sapient Cetaceans.

  • BIONICLE: All life, including the fauna, in the Matoran Universe is biomechanical. Manas Crabs, Gukko Birds, and spider-like Visorak are just a handful of the biomechanical Rahi, as the equivalent of animals are called in the setting.
  • The Teksta Interactive Newborn Kitty is a robot kitten meant for children, as a substitute pet. It runs on 2 AAA batteries, meows and purrs, can move (though slowly and only in straight line), and can respond to light and sound.
  • Transformers:
    • Soundwave's mini cassette spybots can transform like the other Cybertronians. However, while their larger counterparts have humanoid robot modes, some of Soundwave's cassette bots such as Ravage, Laserbeak and Buzzsaw are animals in robot mode.
    • Turbofoxes are Cybertronian fauna. Unlike the other animal bots seen in the series, they lack advanced intelligence and a robot mode, being fauna that are sometimes hunted for sport.

    Video Games 
  • The Animal Crossing series has a robot ostrich villager named Sprocket, a robot frog named Ribbot, and New Horizons introduced a robot octopus named Cephalobot. In Animal Forest e+ there were also E- Reader card exclusive villagers named Bow and Meow who were a robotic dog and cat, respectively.
  • Horizon Zero Dawn and its sequel, Horizon Forbidden West have mechanical animals as one of its main thematic elements. Most of the mechanimals Aloy encounters or fights are actually created by GAIA, an advanced AI controlling the Zero Dawn terraforming network, as the implements for planetary reclamation. GAIA had a fondness for animals, both extinct and extant shortly before the Faro Swarm destroyed the biosphere, leading to them all resembling a host of animals ranging from dinosaurs to birds to mammals, each with a purpose in revitalizing the world or maintaining the terraforming system. Of course with re-emerging humanity actively hunting said machines, they've become more adept at protecting themselves. Additionally new, less docile machines are being created to fight back that resemble tigers, T-Rexes, and birds of prey. It's eventually revealed that GAIA's machine design subfunction, HEPHAESTUS, made them more aggressive in response to human hunting activities after gaining self-awareness in the aftermath of GAIA's self-destruction.
  • Inscryption: The third boss The Trapper uses mechanical frog cards. When defeated, these cards turn into animal traps that do no attack damage, however they turn any creature that attacks it into an animal pelt, killing it in the process and returning the pelt to the player's hand.
  • Goht, the boss of the Snowhead Temple in The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask is a mechanical goat-like beast.
  • NieR: Automata: The alien race that invaded Earth, among other things, tried to create robotic fish in order to eliminate life in Earth's oceans. Unfortunately for them, the robots were a bit too close to the real deal, and so now when you go for fishing there's a chance you get a robot fish instead of a normal one. Oceanic ecosystem is still perfectly fine.
  • Power Bomberman: Metalooi is a robotic type of Louie, a fictional species that is half-kangaroo and half-rabbit. It is much more durable than your average Louie and goes a step further by being able to self-destruct at will.
  • Multiple enemies in the Ratchet & Clank series are robots that resemble real-world animals, with some being more abstract representations than others. They're most prominent in the first two entries with enemies like the Peckbot, Robosquawker, Robotmutt, Chickenbot, and the Arachnoid.
  • Red Alert 3: Burst Drones are the Imperials' scout unit, a tiny flying robot in the shape of a dragonfly. In addition to having a large sight range and detecting infiltrators, it can attach itself to vehicles to slow them down and blow itself up.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog: While these days his bots are more generic, Eggman originally favored the badniks, robotic animals that rather effectively showcased his corruption of nature. Crabmeat (who resembles a crab) and Catakiller (who resembles a caterpillar) are two of the best known from the games, while Scratch (who resembles a rooster), Grounder (resembles a groundhog), and Coconuts (resembles a monkey) were made popular in animation.
  • StarCraft II has the campaign exclusive Predator, a robotic attack panther.
  • 20XX has Dally, a robotic cat who functions as the Team Pet to Nina and Ace.
  • Warcraft III has the Mechanical Critter, an item that creates a critter (small animal that can be found wandering the map like sheep, deer or pigs) that doesn't register as belonging to the player and used for scouting. Despite the name, the unit isn't actually mechanical.
  • World of Warcraft has an entire class of these, known as the mechanized animals. This includes exploding sheep, mechanocats, and robotic chickens.

    Visual Novels 
  • Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair: Monokuma summons "The Monobeasts": five mechanical weapons shaped after animals (a horse, an eagle, a tiger, a snake, and a gorilla) to protect him and block off access to other areas on the island chain until later in the game.

    Web Comics 

    Web Videos 
  • John Downer Productions has a YouTube channel that centers on embedding a robot "spy" amid an animal group, the better to observe them and their behaviors. The real animals are naturally wary of any newcomer, but the robot counterfeit often passes as acceptable, and becomes part of the colony. He's done spy-bot versions of a meerkat, a hyena, a gorilla, and many more.

    Western Animation 
  • Animal Mechanicals features 5 mechanical Animal Superheroes who take on missions to help fellow inhabitants of their world. They are each named after the creature they resemble, with Rex, Komodo and Mouse taking after real animals while Sasquatch and Unicorn resemble more mythical creatures.
  • Chip 'n Dale: Rescue Rangers: The episode "Robocat" has peculiar inventor Ignatz Stanislavsky build a robot cat out of household junk. He sets the robot loose in his workshop, whereupon it targets the Rescue Rangers. Monterrey Jack terms this feline mechanism a "clockwork kitty."
  • Futurama: "31st Century Fox" had Bender fight for the rights of robotic animals after seeing a robotic fox get destroyed by hounds. Bender is also seen trying to protect robot chickens from having to lay eggs, and saving some robotic ducks from a shooting gallery.
  • Ninjago: In season 1, Zane comes into possession of a falcon that turns out to be robotic in nature, which is eventually used to act as a form of long-range scout. It's eventually upgraded to resemble Zane's new titanium appearance and then even further into a more drone-like appearance.
  • One episode of The Penguins of Madagascar involves Julian buying a robot lemur named Lemmy. He teaches it to dance and the penguins teach it to spy.
  • The Simpsons: In "Replaceable You", Martin Prince and Bart design a form of robotic seal named a Robopet in a bid to win the Science Fair. They end up becoming pets for the lonely residents of the Springfield Care Home but are reprogrammed by funeral directors to kill. However, they are eventually reprogrammed and go back to being the elderly residents' pets.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog (SatAM): Doctor Robotnik has a mechanical bird that he keeps perched on his left shoulder, much like a Pirate Parrot. Robotnik has named his bird Cluck, and Cluck lives to annoy and ridicule Robotnik's henchman Snively.
  • Super Robot Monkey Team Hyper Force Go is about a group of robot monkeys.
  • The Tom and Jerry cartoon "Push Button Kitty" had a robotic cat name Mechano, which was programmed to get rid of mice.
  • Total Drama: Pahkitew Island: It's revealed that all of the animals on the island are robotic in nature, due to Chris wanting to avoid dealing with animal rights groups. However, during the episode "Scarlett Fever", the animals are going haywire and attack the contestants.
  • Wow! Wow! Wubbzy! had the Robo-Cluck 3000, a robotic chicken holding the honor of being the first of Widget's many inventions to appear on the show. It appeared in "A Tale of Tails", where it went haywire after Wubbzy accidentally pushed a lever that activated it, and was also the main antagonist of Wubbzy's Amazing Adventure where there were also Chick-Bots.
  • Xiaolin Showdown: After one betrayal too many from Wuya, Jack Spicer opts to create his own method of detecting Shen Gon Wu without her. He builds a mechanical parrot, since he also wants it to be able to spout endless compliments to stroke his ego.

    Real Life 
  • PARO is a robotic harp seal that is intended to be cute and to be used as a form of animal-assisted therapy (although obviously using robots instead of animals). It was designed to seek out eye contact, respond to touch, cuddle with humans, remember faces, and learn methods of acting that generate a favorable reaction.
  • Robotics pets have been developped since The '90s, and given their high cost, the only buyers have been nursing homes and hospitals.


Video Example(s):


Zombot Tuskmaster 10,000 BC

The boss of Frostbite Caves, a robot mammoth that attacks with ice.

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Example of:

Main / MammothsMeanIceAge

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