There are two kinds of robots in Hollywood: innocuous servants that are one glitch away from murdering their masters, and the bots designed for wholesale slaughter from the start. Here's a look at the latter, a purpose-built class of killer machines—and the pioneering models that gave new shape to one of our oldest nightmares.
The stars of the 1941 Superman animated short presented the most lasting and awkward archetype of deadly robotics—the dreaded humanoid.
While there's nothing particularly deadly about the two-legged design of ED-209, which first appeared in 1987's RoboCop, it was iconic enough to remain intact for the 2014 remake.
The Matrix (1999) provided the most alien take on killer bots: the horrific squid-legged, spider-headed Sentinels, which attack victims with multitudes of razor-sharp tentacles.
This article originally appeared in the July 2013 issue of Popular Science. See the rest of the magazine here.
I don't think you addressed the real scare. Big robots, you can shoot at with equally advanced firepower, but the small and quick robots of the future will eat your lunch.
I can envision 50 coffee can-sized bots swarming their prey at 35mph. Good luck shooting at that.
Even worse, how about the beasties in the next century, where you don't even see the nano machines attack you, you just watch your squad's faces disolve before your own eyes burst. They swarm their prey like thousands of fish pushed into a bait ball. Oh, and the parasites, did I mention the parasites? Simply lovely.
Yawn, big scary robots are so 1980s.
self replicating nanobots.