15 Most Powerful Sci-Fi Robots

Robots have always been a consistent character in all of our fiction books and movies. They came in all sizes but their shape for some reason has always been patterned after our own. Perhaps we love them because they are our first attempt at creating something like us mobile, strong and smart. Of course were still a long way from being able to make a robot that is remotely capable of what our bodies can do but that doesn’t stop our imaginations.

Below is a list of the 15 Most Powerful Sci-Fi Robots in the history of fiction. They’ve become icons to remember and all Science-Fiction lovers should know who or what they are.

1. Maria from Metropolis (1927)


Maria is a female robot and is one of the most powerful images in early science fiction history. She was a character in the Movie Metropolis and was an object of great desire. The robot’s character represented how women were being objectified in society. Maria is undeniably a machine but men still projected their desires towards her. She becomes a passive “thing” that men throw their obsessions at despite knowing that she cannot feel and even think for herself.

A little trivia about her is that it is said the C3PO (Star Wars) might have been designed after her. If you’ve seen star wars you’ll notice the similarities.


2. Gort From The Day The Earth Stood Still (1951)

Gort-The Day The Earth Stood Still

In the original film Gort stands 8 feet tall and is said to be a kind of Peace keeping robot for the universe. His distinct features are his height, his desire not to talk and his powerful laser beam that can vaporize anything it hits. He also came down to earth from a flying saucer and claims that he was given the power to destroy earth if he had to by his maker.


3. Robby The Robot – Forbbiden Planet (1956)


The classic robot, Robby was a hit when Forbidden Planet came out. He is the typical old school robot and has the ability to reconstruct anything that you insert inside him. He has artificial intelligence although it seems a bit weird how he thinks. Robby can talk although he really doesn’t have a mouth but a sort of organ that lights up whenever sound is produced.


4. HAL 9000 – Space Odyssey (1968)

hal9000-space odyssey

Its name stands for Heuristically programmed ALgorithmic computer and is depicted by a type of camera or round light that can talk. HAL is an onboard computer, basically an artificial intelligence that played the villain in the Space Odyssey. He was built so well and programmed with human psyche that even he did not notice that he had acquired human flaws. He basically demonstrates an internal conflict between the desire to meet the objective and the desire to continue existing. Clearly this fictional character was put in place to depict how human beings also go through such internal battles. HAL basically malfunctioned because he could not properly decide if he should prioritize the mission or his own existence.


5. Mechagodzilla – Godzilla Series (1974)


Mechagodzilla is definitely one of the coolest robots around. He stands well above the tallest buildings can destroy them with slash of its paws or a whip of its tail. He is also made of an incredibly strong alloy and if that wasn’t enough he comes equipped with missiles all over his body. Mechagodzilla is the ultimate war-monster-machine of science fiction.


6. R2D2 from StarWars (1977)


R2D2 is that cute little droid that always hangs out with C3PO (if you’re not familiar with star wars he’s a human like robot that talks weird and is painted gold). His basic characteristics is his small stature, the whistling sounds when he speaks and his revolving head that has a kind of red bulb on it which “could” be his eye. He is very smart and can do almost anything that is mechanical or electronic from accessing databases, opening encrypted doors to fixing spaceships.


7. Cylons – Battlestar Galactica (1980)

cylon- battle galactica

Cylons are basically cyborgs that were created by human kind initially to help them perform difficult and dangerous jobs. There was however jealousy between creation and creator, and discrimination developed leading to hate between the two sentient beings. They have been in constant war with humanity and occasionally infiltrate society. They are indistinguishable from human beings and can express joy, sorrow, happiness and affection.


8. Optimus Prime – Transformers (1984)

optimus prime - transformers

Optimus Prime is the leader of the Autobots, a group of “good” robots from Cybertron. They are locked in battle against the Decepticons, an evil faction of robots who seek power. Optimus is the typical hero character. He’s big, strong, kind, understanding, smart and selfless. His primary transformation is a big truck although in some episodes he has been shown to transform into other machines.

Source / Source

9. ABC Warrior – Judge Dredd (1995)

abc warrior - judge dredd

ABC is the classic humanoid fighting machine that was originally designed to for war and to endure all harshness that comes with it. He is one of the antagonists in the movie Judge Dredd and has been re-programmed and re-equipped to fight him. With his new gear and design ABC becomes the ultimate killing machine.


10. The Sentinels – Matrix (1999)


The sentinels are octopus like machines that fly or hover through the tunnels of the futuristic world of the Matrix, I ‘mean the “real” world in the matrix movie not THE matrix (confusing). Their job is to sniff out the surviving humans and snuff them out. These are very dangerous robots and they move very fast. Their tentacles can be used to latch on to hulls and they also have lasers that can let them open a spaceship up. Sentinels were the primary soldiers of the machines when they attacked Zion and in the last movie they came in unending swarms. In the matrix the biggest defence against them was to blow an EMP which would shutdown any electronic device in the area.


11. MODEL T800 from The Terminator 3 (2003)  

t-800_the terminator

Is probably the most famous terminator robot known to sci-fi movie goers because it was the first one that time travelled to kill stuff. Yes, were talking about the Arnold model here and whatever you might have against his acting or politics or his accent you have to admit he was a pretty cool in the movie. The T800 model was basically a military unit designed for assassination and infiltration. That’s why they were made to look like us. The unit could be programmed for both good and evil and if programmed to kill, it won’t stop until the target dies or it (the robot) is destroyed.


12. The Omindroid – The Incredibles (2004)

Omnidroid_the incredibles

We don’t always have to be on the side of good, do we? If you ever see a huge round robot with spider like legs and a revolving red eye on top, wouldn’t you want one for yourself? I would and the Omnidroid is exactly what I’m talking about. This was the robot created by Syndrome the main antagonist in the animated movei “The Incredibles.” The robot basically walked around the city causing panic, terror and destruction. Not the ideal stroll in the park but if something like that was happening in my city I wouldn’t mind sitting comfortably inside the robot.


13. Giant Nazi Robots – Sky Captain and The World of Tomorrow (2004)

giant nazi robots-sky captain

Can you think of a more evil robot? It’s huge, it’s a Nazi and it’s got a big Cyclops eye that spans over half its head. They are definitely the epitome of evil robots and something for all aspiring robot antagonists to look up to (both literal and figurative). These robots appear in the movie Sky Captain and the World of tomorrow which came out in 2004. The movie showcases monsters and robots galore and is a must watch for any fiction lover.


14. Wall-E from Wall-E (2008)

wall e

Wall-E stands for Waste Allocation Load Lifter Earth-class. He’s one of the cutest robots you will ever see. He was originally designed to crush trash and basically arrange them into piles but he falls in love (awww) when he meets EVE, Extra-terrestrial Vegetation Evaluator. This little guy accompanied by his trusty sidekick, the little cockroach that doesn’t die will go on a space adventure to get EVE back once she’s recalled by the mother ship.


15. B.R.A.I.N (Fabrication Machine) – 9 (2009)

fabrication machine- 9

The BRAIN actually looks like a crane with a red eye attached to the ceiling. It was the source of all machines in the movie “The Fabrication Machine.” He was originally built by a scientist to produce other robots who would help in the World War. The B.R.A.I.N soon snapped under pressure though when it was taken away by the military and started reprogramming other robots and machines to go against humanity.


Guest Star: Bender – Futurama (1999)

bender futurama

It’s just not possible to not include bender from “Futurama” in any list that talks about cool robots. His complete name is Bender Bending Rodriguez and yes he’s a Mexican robot, can’t you tell? He’s an alcoholic (this is his fuel basically), a chain smoker and a gambler. He also has occasional fits of wanting to kill all humans, except his best friend of course that goes without saying. He one of the “good guys” in the series although his personality does tend to be more appropriate as an antagonist.


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26 Responses to 15 Most Powerful Sci-Fi Robots

  1. Martin Johnson says:

    I enjoyed the list, I noticed it was only about films, I hope it is expanded to novels.
    R. Daneel Olivaw is one of my personal favorites

  2. j says:

    Perhaps 15 most popular, or recognizable robots would have been a more appropriate title. Great lst otherwise though.

  3. Kris says:

    You could almost do a separate list for both novels and anime/manga…so many in both of those realms.

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  5. Todd says:

    What, no Unicron?

  6. Hank says:

    Definitely more “iconic” as opposed to “powerful.” No Unicron, no V’Ger, no Mighty Orbots. :)

  7. Will says:

    HAL is an icon, no doubt, but was not a robot by definition. How about Data from Trek? 7 seasons & a few movies in the most successful franchise in SF.

  8. China says:

    what, is Daileon???

  9. Steven DiStefano says:

    I am probably wrong, but I remember in Battlestar Galactica TOS that the cylons were neither made by man nor resembled them in any way shape or form in either physical appearance or thought process. They were a robotic race of unknown origin a la the Transformers. Again, I may be mistaken. The mythos presented here is definitely from the new series, which is fine, but at least put a picture of the modern cylon. :)

  10. Eu says:

    Faltou o Robocop

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  13. Melchior says:

    You forgot “Johnny 5″ from “Short Circuit”!

  14. Kaio says:

    Where is Cain MK2 from Robocop 2?

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  16. Kaito says:

    Very surprising there’s no Astro Boy… I guess he’s only popular in Asia….

  17. Tonebone says:

    What about the Cybermen or the Daleks from Doctor Who?

  18. Captain Jerry says:

    You ignore the huge robots in the movie “Kronos”.

  19. PopCollector says:

    What? Nobody saw the ending of The Iron Giant?

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  21. Bruce Lewis says:

    WTF? This isn’t even close to being correct. The Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann is more than 10 million light years in height, more than one hundred times the diameter of the Milky Way Galaxy, and it possesses an infinite amount of power (since its energy is derived from its pilots’ will to win). It can throw a galaxy like a shuriken, alter the fundamental laws of reality, and create an entire Super Spiral Space universe within itself. Now THAT is a powerful sci-fi robot!

  22. Jester of the Apocalypse says:

    “Marvin” from Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, man! He would get all of the rest of these robots to commit suicide!

    And what’s up with the sentence, “If you’re not familiar with Star Wars . . .”

    If you’re not familiar with Star Wars, you’re not a sci-fi fan!

  23. Jakounezumi says:

    Actually I have to agree with Steven DiStefano, what you are describing are not the Cylons of the orginal galactica. In the original the machines known as Cylons were created by a reptilian race which you never got to see as they died out long ago, and unlike the newer versions they came in a big variety of different types and functions both military and civilian. As I recall the human cylon war started when humans interfered in a cylon war and lasted close to a thousand years until they were betrayed by Baltar.

  24. Olly says:

    How about the robot from the cartoon laputa: Castle in the sky

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