How Robot Names Influence Our Relationship with Technology
We get a taste of robot films and pop media during the post-World War era of the 1950s. Since the establishment and coining of the word ‘robot’ by Karel Capek, in his play Rossum’s Universal Robots, there has been no other popular name that identifies the man-made and artificially intelligent machines—a product of human’s creative and inventive mind.
Robots are defined as any automatically operated machines that can replace human work and effort. To put simply, they are created solely for automation that was once done by humans manually, and to operate on conditions that are impossible for humans to perform. Robots have been part of both the industrialized and manufacturing sectors, as well as pop culture and entertainment. Surprisingly, there is a commonality among robots despite coming from these two different industries: Robot Names!
In this article, we’ll teach you about the vast world of robot names and how modern-day robot is influenced by such names. We’ll tackle a brief history of the Evolution of Robot Names, mention some popular Robot Names in Pop Culture, and of course share with you amazing thoughts on how to nickname your Robots. We have much to discuss about robots so let’s start! *beep*
The Evolution of Robot Names
When mentioning the word ‘robot’ we often come up with robot names such as R2D2 from Star Wars or Robocop. But have you ever wondered how we humans arrived at such robot names and have been changing them over time? To answer that, let’s start by understanding first the essence of having robots in human life.
Robots are an ‘extension’ of a human’s capability to work. Robots are not limited to human-like beings having heads, hands, torso, and legs. They can be robotic arms that can operate for thousands of hours or an automated machine that can compute and predict data for you. Such a concept was not believed to be possible until the post-World War era. In 1942, the idea and term “robotics” or “runabout” was invented as part of a science-fiction work by Isaac Asimov. He thought that robots, in the future, will have a decent and important role in the betterment of human society—to which we’re sure to agree today. He even created ‘Laws of Robotics’ in the belief that robots will never harm humans, their creator.
The earliest recorded creation of robots was in the 1950s. George Devol patented a reprogrammable arm manipulator that he called “Unimate”, which means “Universal Automation”. This is the very first successful concept of a robot, and added to it the first real-life robot to be named. In the following decade in 1960, another inventor named Joseph Engleberger was able to patent and apply his version of the robot to industrial applications. It was the very first industrial robot, and with his invention, he founded the Unimation Company to produce more marketable industrial robots. Because of this, he was considered the “Father of Robotics”. Robotics have become a trend both in the business sector and academics. Students started to learn and program small robots and produce varying applications. Today, we have seen much more advanced and improved robots, at par with the advancement in technologies, materials, and tools.
And what of robot names? The simplest way robots are named roots from the Unimate robot—or simply naming robots through acronyms or compounded shorted terms based on the robots’ capability and purpose. This became the small standard in naming robots, although other robots were named based on their appearance. Modern-day robots, due to their variety and number, are named by model numbers or codes instead—but this doesn’t mean robot naming based on acronym or appearance is lost. They are still widely used even today!
Robots in Pop Culture
Before robots even entered the industrial automation industry, they first appeared in sci-fi books and have enjoyed the spotlight of films. One of the first known robots to appear in films is “Robbie”, one of the characters from the published sci-fi novels of Asimov. Although this was already in the 1920s, robotic machines were already screened in films but were not yet called robots by that time. One of which is the popular robot from the 1918 American mystery film The Master Mystery. It portrayed a fully humanoid mechanical man playing as a murder robot throughout the story.
There are a lot of other robots that have appeared in the film industry way back in the early 20th century. In this section, we’ll give you a few of the popular robot names that have shined in pop culture history. Check them out below.
Robot Model B-9 (Lost in Space Series)
The B-9 Class M-3 General Utility Non-Theorizing Environmental Control Robot, or simply The Robot is the robot name in the 1965 television series Lost in Space. The Robot is sometimes called “B-9” or the “Robinson Robot”, while it was called “Blinky” by its creator.
The Robot is described as a powerful robot consisting of a supercomputer brain that allows it to perform complicated calculations and deductive reasoning. It can detect natural phenomena using its sensors and predict possible dangers to come. He was also programmed to be highly knowledgeable on a variety of subjects including operating the Jupiter 2 spaceship. The Robot also has a sturdy body and functional trapezoidal wheels which allows it to traverse different terrain. He can also function as a utility robot because of its strength and functional claws for carrying purposes. Lastly, his claws can also serve as a weapon and can shoot laser beams and electro-force. Now that’s indeed a functional and multi-purpose robot.
WALL-E (WALL-E Movie)
The movie WALL-E is an animated film produced by Pixar Animation Studios in 2008. It centers around the story of WALL-E, an old and lone robot living on a desolate and abandoned future Earth. The movie gave a lasting impression to its audience for its heart-warming and touching story of WALL-E as he traverses the lonely Earth and finds love with another robot named Eve.
There’s much more to love and appreciate about WALL-E. For starters, WALL-E isn’t even programmed to talk. He was created to do waste management, thus the abbreviation “WALL-E” came from (Waste Allocation Load Lifter – Earth Class). Despite being created for this duty, he is self-aware and full of expression and curiosity. To add more, WALL-E is resilient and loving. He has a love for old films which he collected from the trash, and he collects a few ornaments on the abandoned planets he visits.
Eventually, he met EVE, which means (Extraterrestrial Vegetation Evaluator), which was tasked to scan the plant for signs of sustainability of life. They begin to become close to one another and start an adventure-filled story together that eventually leads to the recovery of the planet Earth.
Optimus Prime (Transformers Series)
Have you heard of heroic robots that have their planet and have spawned all around Earth, extending their wars outside their world? That’s right, it’s the main story of the animated cartoon series Transformers. Transformers story centers on the conflict between the Autobots and the Decepticons. They are a warring faction to gain control of the robotic world of Cybertron.
Optimus Prime is the hero leader of the Autobots and the main protagonist of the Transformers series. He is the brother of the Decepticon leader Megatron. Optimus Prime is also known by different names such as Orion Pax and Nemesis Prime. Optimus Prime is known to have a virtuous and honorable heart. He has a tall stature and can transform into a red semi-trailer truck. He can shoot lasers with his gun blasters and he is a known friend of humans in the series. Optimus Prime and the entire Transformers franchise are best remembered by children born in the 90s. The series is simply the first robot show to portray a robot’s ability to transform into vehicles and planes—a unique concept that everyone (including us!) loved.
The Terminator (Terminator Series)
If the Transformers Autobots are heroic and kind, some robots kill. Meet the Terminator, a human-like machine designed to annihilate and extinguish the human race… well at least that’s what it is made of because the supercomputer Skynet failed to do it on its own. In an attempt to eradicate the Terminator Resistance, Skynet sent the first Terminator robot (Cyberdyne Systems Model 101, a variant of the T-800 series played by Arnold Schwarzenegger) in the past to kill Sarah Connor, the supposed to be mother of John Connor, the key player in founding the Terminator Resistance which will defeat the Skynet in 2029.
There are probably two sci-fi ideas working on this story altogether: the concept of human-like assassin robots, and the concept of time traveling. The Terminator series gained much popularity for the action-packed filled scenes and the unique storyline. To date, there are 6 Terminator films including some TV series, video games, and comics. To our surprise too, in the Terminator 2 movie, the T-800 Terminator is back in action (still played by Arnold) but as a main protagonist in the story fighting against a much newer and improved T-1000 Terminator series. A true robot-fighting to behold!
C-3P0 (Star Wars)
And who could have forgotten about C-3P0? The very talkative and humorous robot in the Star Wars series. C-3P0 is part of the 3P0-series droids that are designed to interact with organics. They are programmed with high etiquette and self-protocol. They are fluent in over six million languages that are spoken across the universe (they are designed to communicate anyway).
C-3P0 is best remembered as a funny and humorous robot, walking awkwardly as if its joints do not have proper lubrication. He was constructed from spare parts by Anakin Skywalker and was paired with the automech droid R2-D2 when Anakin became a Jedi. C-3P0 has been part of every Star Wars movie, including a cameo in the special movie Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. Some of the funny moments of C-3P0 are the effortless dodging of laser blasts, his continuous hate talk with R2-D2, the non-stop interrupting of love moments of Han Solo and Laia, and of course, getting destroyed over and over again. And did we mention that he became a royalty among the Ewoks?
We mentioned in the introduction that robots are named based on acronyms, shortened terms, purpose, or appearance. With few exceptions to some robots being named after real-life names, or with model numbers or codes. But how do we nickname robots based on a given set of robot names? Let’s find out.
Robot Nicknames in a Nutshell
Similar to human names, a robot nickname is based on the given robot name itself. The robot nickname must be easy to remember, well-associated, or very related to the robot name in terms of intonation, spelling, or tone, and most of all identify the robot.
Robot nicknames are a great avenue to easily remember the robots. Gone are those lengthy abbreviations and model numbers that are too long to remember. The robot nickname will serve as a specific branding or identity so we can easily identify from among our favorite robots. Below are a few examples of robot nicknames that you can draw inspiration in creating your version.
Robot Nicknames Examples Based on Robot Names
Fully Autonomous Tour Guide
A robot functioning as a tour guide for visitors and tourists. These robots are fully autonomous and can answer any random questions thrown at them by humans.
Diamond Explorer Model 2
A cross-functional rover designed to find carbon imprints in the depths of the ocean.
Machine Arm Zipper (MA-Zip)
A mechanical robotic arm is used to zip and lock containers or tie cables.
Bloch Chain Analyzer and Decision Maker
A robot designed to study drifts and variances in the crypto market blockchain.
Multi-purpose Android Driver (Multi AnD)
A robot designed to drive all kinds of vehicles from cars, and trucks, to planes and ships.
Dental Autofocus Lighter
A dental robot that provides lighting for the dentist. It has a smiley face to distract younger patients during procedures.
Robot Name Generators
The funny thing about creating a robot name is the realization that it is, most of the time, hard to formulate. Without proper context on what kind of robot you are trying to name, you might find yourself at a loss on where to begin with. But these limitations are addressed with helpful naming tools that you can find over the internet: the Robot Name Generators.
Robot Name Generators is a fun and easy way to create or formulate robot names. It gives you tons of lists of possible robot names regardless of the type, purpose, or appearance of the robot. This lessens the burden on thinking and formulating names on the side of authors, game developers, and writers. On top of that, Robot Name generators are easy to use, abundant over the internet, and free!
Case Study: Robot Vacuum Names
Perhaps one of the greatest inventions of the 21st century is the creation of fully automatic and smart vacuum cleaners. That’s right, no more headaches in sweeping the entire room for our moms. These robot vacuum cleaners are designed to sweep every edge of the room by navigating back and forth and through the floor. These robot vacuums are packed with smart sensors that allow them to avoid obstacles, and obstructions, and even turn left and right to change direction on their own. It can be set on a timer and can return to its starting position after it has done its task.
Pretty clever right? But what’s more interesting is the variety of brands that produce this awesome consumer robotic product. These brands gave enticing robot names to their models which seemed to appease the masses to their liking. How do these robot vacuum names affect the consumer market anyway? Let’s try to find out.
Why Robot Vacuums are Named?
The quickest possible answer is Marketing. Robot vacuums have futuristic, classy, and prestige names attached to them. Before, vacuum cleaner companies tended to target moms as they are the one who manages the household and uses these machines for cleaning. However, in the 21st century, with the introduction of automated vacuum robots, they are also targeting men who have the most background and interest in technology.
Robot vacuums will tend to be purchased by both the husband and wife because both of them benefit from it and at the same time pick their interest in buying it as an appliance. That is why interesting robot names are given by each brand to their robot vacuum products to give a long-lasting impression to the consumer and to pick their interest in buying them. Besides, having a robot inside the house might sound cool, plus that robot has its name.
Examples of Robot Vacuum Names in the Market
- Dreambot D10 Plus
- iRobot Roomba
- Shark AI Ultra
- Eufy X9
- Tapo RV10 Plus
- Shark Ion RV765
Wrapping Things Up!
In conclusion, robots have become an important part of our daily lives both in real-life industrial and commercial applications and in pop culture and entertainment.
Robots are automatic machines that can replace human work. They can do complicated things that are sometimes physically impossible for us humans. Most of all, they can do operations for an extended period without tiring themselves out. In short, they are our friendly little helpers and not an enemy (thanks Asimov for the idea!).
Robot names give us long-lasting impressions about robots. We easily remember robots by recalling their robot nicknames and we are easily hooked with these names as they sound cool and futuristic. Most robot names are derived from their functionality, appearance, and a shortened term of their full robot name, or acronym. To give light to those lengthy robot names or robot model names and codes, we simply use robot nicknames.
Robot names also play an important factor in marketing consumer electronics robots such as robot vacuums. Their names sound cool and robotic to pick the interest of the buyer, especially the husband who has an idea and much more interest in technology. Because they can attract both the husband and the wife to purchase a family-use robot vacuum, these companies can sell well and become successful in marketing their product—all because of the use of proper robot names!