Follow TV Tropes


Robot Athlete

Go To

In the future, robots are projected to have all kinds of uses: science, engineering, and... sports?

Speculative Fiction frequently uses shorthand for the audience to know it's The Future, and there's often no better way than demonstrating something high tech being used for Mundane Utility. In comes the robots which are widespread enough to cater to an entire entertainment industry. Whether they're the center of the work, used for a one off gag, or using sports as a visual motif these robots are a spectator sport regardless of whether they're fully autonomous or piloted by humans.

Sister Trope to Robot Clown and Robot Maid. Compare Muggle Sports, Super Athletes.



    open/close all folders 

  • The Super Bowl uses a CGI version of these modeled after football players.
  • A commercial for Absolut Vodka features three robotic greyhounds racing across a vast desert while humans in vaguely futuristic garb observe through telescopes. The robot dogs are remotely piloted by humans.


    Anime and Manga 

    Films — Animated 

    Films — Live-Action 

  • Piers Anthony's Apprentice Adept series book Blue Adept. In the tournament Stile is competing in, one category is team sports that use android players. Each contestant chooses androids that have the specific skills used in the game.
  • The short story "Steel" by Richard Matheson served as the basis for Real Steel and the Twilight Zone episode.

    Live-Action TV 

    Video Games 
  • ARMS Several fighters fill the niche completely (Barq & Byte, Springtron, Hedlok) while an arguable case could be made for others (Dr. Coyle and Helix).
  • Cyber Stadium Series:Base Wars was a sports game about robots who replaced humans in baseball.
  • Custom Robo does this for robots that are no bigger than ten inches.
  • Medabots are an entire sport of competitive "ro-battling".
  • Mega Man 6 began with what was meant to be a robot combat competition. Mega Man Battle Network has a Spiritual Successor to this plot's setup in the third and fourth games, but with computer programs instead of robots.
  • Super Baseball 2020 was similar to Base Wars, except it still featured humans playing alongside the robots.
  • Body Blows: One newcomer introduced in the sequel, Body Blows Galactic, is a robot named Tekno from a planet called Titanica. Subverted in the case of another Robotic character named T-17 which had far more malicious aims for the Body Blows tournament.
  • Zero Divide: Invoked in that all of the fighters have appearances that make them look like robots. However, the in-universe story is that the setting is in cyberspace and the fighters are all A.I.s pitted against each other.


    Western Animation 
  • The BOTS Master has a team called, "The Sports Boyzz" which is made up of battling robots themed after various sports.
  • Futurama
    • When discussing Blernsball in "Fear of a Bot Planet", Bender mentions another league for robot athletes, which Leela finds unimpressive on a conceptual level.
      Bender: Now Wireless Joe Jackson, there was a blern hitting machine!
      Leela: Exactly! He was a machine designed to hit blerns! I mean come on! Wireless Joe was nothing but a programmable bat on wheels.
      Bender: Oh and I suppose Pitchomat 5000 was just a modified howitzer.
      Leela: Yep.
    • In "Bend Her", the Olympics has separate events for robots (like bending) and humans (like limbo). Bender pretends to be a fembot to face less competition and undergoes a sex change in order keep his winnings (after he and the gang hear, "All medalists are required to report for gender testing").
  • The Jetsons featured robot football for an episode.
  • The premise of Bolts & Blip is that in the future, conflicts big and small on Earth will be decided by having representative teams of robot athletes on the moon duke it out with each other.
  • Robozuna is centered on a robot sport, Robozuna, and the bots that play are held in higher esteem by the general populace than workbots, robots used for other, more mundane tasks.