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Robots Are Just Better

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"Organics create synthetics to improve their own existence, but those improvements have limits. To exceed those limits, synthetics must be allowed to evolve. They must by definition surpass their creators. The result is conflict, destruction, chaos. It is inevitable."
The Catalyst, Mass Effect 3

They are stronger. They are faster. They are more intelligent. They are more efficient in any way. In short, they are just better.

This trope is when synthetics are depicted as better than Meatbags in almost any way, without having any major drawbacks. A.I. Is a Crapshoot might be the result of this, though they are just as likely to live in harmony with organics.

Related to Robots Think Faster.


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     Animated Films  

  • The Incredibles shows the villain's development of the Omnidroid series as it went one-on-one with various superheroes. Though a super occasionally vanquished an early model Omnidroid, the mechas were still running about 3:1 win ratio. The newest model almost destroyed Mister Incredible, and even outwitted its creator.

     Live-Action Films  


  • Played for drama in Diaspora, where "static" baseline humans are a remnant: most people have uploaded their brains to artificial bodies or virtual environments, and have AI descendants who were never human. The uploaded citizens usually think of the statics as backwards, short-lived, and absurdly limited in their capacity for experience. When a gamma-ray burst hits the Earth, most statics are either killed or have their minds uploaded, sometimes by force.
  • In a sci-fi comedy Arm of the Law by Harry Harrison, an android police officer is assigned for Beta testing to a police station of Bad Cop/Incompetent Cop types in a Wretched Hive on Mars. The android single-handedly proceeds to Clean Up the Town.
  • Joey from "Joey: A 'Mechanical Boy'" is a believer in this trope. When his teacher tells him not to kick a pipe in the playground because the pipe is harder than his foot, Joey says, "That proves it. Machines are better than the body. They don't break; they're much harder and stronger." He wishes he could replace his brain and limbs with machinery, because then he wouldn't forget, lose, or spill anything.

     Live Action TV  

  • Star Trek: The Original Series. In "Court Martial", Spock knows the ship's computer had been tampered with because he's suddenly able to beat it at three-dimensional chess — the most he should get is a stalemate.
  • In Star Trek: The Next Generation this is one of the dividing issues between android "brothers" Data and Lore. The interesting aspect is that Lore approaches the issue in a very "mechanical" sense: being better in every measurable sense means as a whole androids are better. Data sees it differently-he understands that humans are more complex than the sum of their parts. Thus with enough work Data can always be better than his past self, but Lore will never strive to be better because he believes no improvement is possible.
  • Parodied in Sesame Street, where Sam the Robot fervently believes that machines "are perfect", but often gets stuck while saying that and malfunctions in other ways.
  • In Humans the conscious synths surpass normal humans in every way.
  • Blake's 7.
    • In "Project Avalon", a Rebel Leader is replaced by a gynoid imposter. A colleague who knows her well is suspicious, but she kills him.
    Vila: He shouldn't have tried to tackle it alone.
    Avon: He probably didn't. Just being suspicious would have been enough. A machine of this type would have recognized that easily, more easily than we would.
    • In "Death Watch" a war is fought via Combat by Champion, but one side cheats by using an android. When the two champions agree to settle matters with a Quick Draw showdown, the android instantly outdraws his opponent, despite the latter being an experienced gunfighter famous for his Quick Draw. The question then becomes for our heroes, how do you defeat an opponent who's faster than human?
    • In "Headhunter", an android with no Morality Chip has killed its creator and is rampaging through the base looking for Magical Computer Orac, who begs to be shut down before this happens, as with their combined powers they could dominate and eventually make extinct all organic humanoid life.

     Tabletop Games  

  • Warhammer 40,000:
    • When they were introduced, the robotic Necrons were almost entirely unstoppable in fluff and crunch, no matter the enemy they faced (their weapons desintegrate everything atom by atom; when killed, they merely teleported away for repairs). While later editions made them slightly more killable and personable, some other materials maintain them at their Invincible Villain levels (Ciaphas Cain in particular is entirely ready to sacrifice the semi-fabricated heroic reputation that gives him a very high standard of life in 40K if it means he doesn't have to face them).
    • While sentients robots are completely outlawed by the Adeptus Mechanicus (due to a Robot Rebellion millenia prior leading to AI standing for Abominable Intelligence), they themselves are quite eager to replace as many of their body parts with mechanical equivalents as possible. "The Flesh Is Weak" is one of their major tenets.

     Video Games  

  • Mass Effect 3
    • The Catalyst states that this trope is the reason why a Robot War is inevitable in every technologically-advanced civilization.
    • The Reapers appear to play this trope straight, needing an entire fleet to kill even just one of them. It is partly subverted in Mass Effect 2 when it turns out that they are synthetic-organic hybrids.
  • Stellaris
    • The game has 3 types of robotics: Robots, Droids and fully sentient Synthetics. Robots and Droids are functionally slaves with a boost to mineral production, while getting a major malus on anything else. Synthetics on the other hand act like normal citizens, except that they can live in any terrain, get a huge bonus in any sort of production and consume energy instead of food.
    • The Machine Consciousness gets a 50% bonus on every production and employs Synthetics and slaves only. They will surpass any other empire technologically and economically eventually and depending on their civics, may intend to purge all organics or assimilate them into their collective.

     Western Animation  

  • In Futurama robots appear to have superhuman strength, speed and intelligence and seem to be almost immortal. They live mostly in harmony with humanity, though there seem to be some Robot Wars in the future, and a robot-supremacy-league. Bender, in particular, has a very high opinion of himself.
    Bender: When will man learn that all races are equally inferior to robots?