What's In A Name? Favorite Fictional Robot Survey


In our line of work, there's a lot of debate about robot names.  For one, there's the whole notion of anthropomorphism and whether it's even appropriate to give a robot a name.  Setting aside that argument for the time being, if you agree that it is perfectly appropriate to give a piece of hardware, software and circuitry a name, then what exactly is the right name?

Our experience is that our PR2 users almost always give their robots a name, and that name is almost always based on a fictional robot.  So we asked the folks here at Willow Garage to tell us their favorite fictional robots.  That process gave us a very long list of names, so we have chosen the top 15 finishers.  Now we want the larger Willow Garage community to cast their votes.  Here are the candidates:

Bender, from Futurama
C-3PO, from Star Wars
Cylons, from Battlestar Galactica
Data, from Star Trek: Next Generation
Eve, from WALL-E
HAL 9000, from 2001: A Space Odyssey
Johnny Five, from Short Circuit
KITT, from Knight Rider
Marvin, in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
Optimus Prime, from Transformers
R2-D2, from Star Wars
Rosie the Maid, in The Jetsons
Sonny, from I, Robot
T-800 or T-1000 from The Terminator

Please cast your vote here and tell us your favorite fictional robot.  We'll let everyone know the results of our survey soon.

While don't want to influence the voting by letting you know how these top 15 fared against each other, we can tell you that Ash, from Alien, Deckard, from Blade Runner, and Voltron, from Voltron: Defender of the Universe just missed the cut.

At the other end of the spectrum was the Conky 2000 from Pee-Wee's Playhouse.  It received the least number of supporting votes, and a substantial number of 'hated it' votes.  (Something to do with the secret word, perhaps?)  Conky edged out Twiki, from Buck Rogers in the 25th Century and The Mechanical Hound, from Fahrenheit 451 for last place.

Let us know what you think by clicking here.  It will only take a few minutes of your time, but provide a lifetime of conversational fodder.


the brother of R2-D2

we did have terrible EMC problems with our robot, so we got error codes from the lidar sensors, 'N1' or 'D1' for a long time ... So in honor of R2-D2 we named it N1-D1... ;-) Volker


Asimov's robots seem to be missing from the list. Where are "R Daneel" and "R Giskard"?

We kept the list shorter so

We kept the list shorter so that people can fill it out more easily. There is a write-in box where you can include your favorite Asimov robot.