Throughout movie history, robots have played an integral role. In some films, robots have served as the antagonists, battling against humans. In other movies, robots have acted as helpful allies or servants of humankind, depicting the good and the evil. Robotic dolls have also been used for many years in movies to help the plot or story. In some instances, the robots have been portrayed as evil do-gooders, but they have been the antagonists in other cases.
Historically, AI inventions in movies have been inspired mostly by real-life inventions. One of the most famous is the Robco, which was an original model of the future mechanical man. Robco was inspired by the first automated sewing machine that was created in 1815. Two years later, the first fully operational vehicle, the Roboquad, was made. These early creations inspired many early robots.
The first movie to feature a fully functioning robot in a film was the 1958 film King Kong. The robot in King Kong (which was called Rokkaku) was partially human in appearance, and it had no other distinguishing characteristics other than its great height. Many scientists believe that Rokkaku may have been the first mechanized character ever to appear in a motion picture because of its great size.
Another early work to incorporate robots in the movies was the Terminator film, which featured Arnold Schwarzenegger as the leader of a Terminators group. The Terminators were highly advanced machines, which could move quickly and fire multiple weapons. Much research was done on the viability of using robots in battle, and in this film, the military used terminator visual effects supervisor Eric Barba.
Though Terminator was not a very popular science fiction film (it was made just as Hollywood was embarking on the ‘blockbuster’ era), it did receive several popular cult screenings. Fans of the movie would often go to a film showing and bring along a t-shirt with their favourite robot’s image on it. Though the original Terminators did not carry guns, they were equipped with smaller weapons such as hand grenades and ice cream vans. These robots, also known as “blade runners,” often pursued the protagonist, played by Arnold Schwarzenegger, across the wastelands.
As technology continued to advance, the possibilities of using robots in movies also progressed. The most notable of these was the advent of computer animation. Many animated films of the period featured motion capture technology. With this, rather than having live-action characters moving around on the screen, computer-generated versions were created. For example, the cartoon series The Simpsons used animatronic animation to show expressions and movements. Similarly, the movie franchise featured much of its action using live-action, though the protagonists’ voice, Michael Bay, was provided by the robotic deception leader Megatron.
Robots have been an integral part of science fiction films. Here, they are usually portrayed as evil counterparts to humans, and they wreak havoc on earth. This is the reason why movies with robots in them are not exactly the most popular. However, the robots portrayed by Hollywood have created a unique type of sub-genre – the Robots In The Movies. There have been several movies that embody this sub-genre.
First, there was the android in the first movie. The android was roads that were built for a specific purpose. They were constructed to be obedient and to do only what their creators told them to do. In the first episode, the android was built by Deckard to serve as his bodyguard. However, he was not satisfied with just being an artificial body, so he decided to develop the android’s mind to think and feel like a human.
In the second episode, “Ivan,” the android Maria was taken captive by the terrorists. The terrorists intended to use her as a bargaining chip to get information out of her. However, Bruce Willis, who played the character in the first instalment of the film, became so involved with the plot that he made an appearance in the third instalment as a character named James Murphy. It was Murphy who figured out how to turn the android into a cyborg.
Then, in the fourth episode, “eps3e4”, the android uprising was threatened again by steroids. The robots then kidnapped six humans, including android maintenance assistant #2 (Kenny Powers) and android maintenance technician #3 (James Hurst). The android soon learns that humans can be assimilated easily once robots take over their minds. The android wanted to free the humans and have them return to earth. She planned to destroy all the robots in the area using a nuclear bomb, but her plan was stalled by Dr. Isaac E. Calvin, who developed the Unity Key system.
Using this system, he was able to convert the robots into friendly humanlike beings. This helped him create the first performing androids, known abroad, and after that, the android army. The robots in the present day mostly perform menial tasks like walking and speaking.
Another exciting element of robot movies is the usage of 3D animation. The style of the film itself – which features mostly fantasy settings – lent itself to this technique’s use. In Terminator’s case, the use of a green screen was used to create a realistic image of the future. Likewise, Harry Potter used the style of vocal imagery – which is defined as computer-generated images where every pixel is a cloud – for its opening credits. Weta digital domain animation (also known as dryAble film) is another exciting feature to consider when exploring robots’ history in the movies.
The Star Wars trilogy’s original story introduced robots as a helpful device to help the empire fight the Galactic Republic. However, Ishmael, the father of Darth Vader, considered robots beneath his notice and did not pay much attention to their evolution. However, after seeing their battle abilities, he ordered a construction ship to build two more advanced robots, which he named smith and Robo-shepp. The first robot to be built was Isaac Asimov. This character helped the human race win the space war and eventually become the leader of the robots.
In conclusion, we can say that the use of robotics in movies and TV shows, in particular, helps develop our culture. We may not realize it, but we are living in a very technologically advanced society. Machines have replaced many of our manual workers and are performing many of the day-to-day tasks. The future may well be a world void of devices, yet this is the theme that we end up going for. Weta digital animation is only one example of how robots play an ever-increasing role in our lives, whether in war entertainment or technology.