Saturday, November 20, 2010

Rate the Robots VI

Starfleet Academy Yearbook Photo?

Robot: Lt. Commander Data from the television series, "Star Trek the Next Generation"

Overview: Designed and built by Doctor Noonien Soong, Data is a sentient android who serves as the second officer and chief operations officer aboard the starships USS Enterprise-D and USS Enterprise E. His positronic brain allows him impressive computational capabilities while his android body is many times stronger and faster than a human body, making Data capable of some amazing physical feats.

Pros: Data's amazing capabilities are in stark contrast to his naiveté regarding the nuances of simple human reaction. Data's search for understanding on matters such as humor, friendship, family and love make for very enjoyable storytelling.

Cons: The damn "emotion chip." Every time Data slaps that bad boy in he becomes immediately unlikeable.

Reality Check: Data is a compelling character and utterly believable as a prediction of robot/android technology a few centuries hence, albeit a bit optimistic. See: Cyberdyne Systems T-800.

Rating: 9 out of 10.

Bonus Feature: One of my favorite scenes; Data playing poker with some of the greatest physicist of the past...


  1. Ahh, now we're getting to one of my favorite robots, OK, technically he's an android, but he's tops in my book. I must admit I prefer him without the annoying emotion chip... no offense meant, annoying joe ;-)

  2. I used to pencil draw advanced robots or what I thought were advanced robots inspired by the Magnus Robot Fighter comic books.
    Data is cool but I think we would be wise to stick with the cumbersome clunking of such as Robby.

  3. Cube - None taken!

    Doug - I think the physical and intellectual superiority of artificial intelligence is inevitable.

  4. Doug has a point about Robby. He was one of my favorites growing up. Of course, then there are even more ancient robots, such as the one in Metropolis, that look very humanoid for its time.