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Author's Note: 10 Evil Robots Bent on Destroying Humanity
I grew up in the 1960s reading comic books and watching TV shows that featured anthropomorphic robots -- that is, ones designed to resemble humans and, to a degree, act like them. As a grown-up science writer, of course, I've come to understand that although we live in an age in which we're surrounded by actual robots, most of them are really glorified remote-control tools, such as the mechanical arms that paint cars on assembly lines and da Vinci, the machine that performs prostate cancer surgery with amazing deftness. Even so, I still harbor a fascination for machines that would not only mimic humans, but possibly blur the distinction.
Back in 2005, for example, I went to the Wired NextFest in Chicago, and got a chance to see a glimpse of that possible future, an android designed by robotics researcher David Hanson. The machine not only bore a striking resemblance to the late science fiction author Philip K. Dick, but was also programmed to utter cryptic statements that evoked Dick's obsession with the existential no-man's land that separated the artificial from the organic. For the first time, I got a sense of what it might be like if robots actually were alive and sentient, as they are in science fiction.
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- BBC. "The Robots of Death." Bbc.co.uk. Undated. (November 12, 2012) http://www.bbc.co.uk/doctorwho/classic/episodeguide/robotsofdeath/detail.shtml
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- Christensen, Bill. "Ancestor of Matrix Sentinel Robot Born." Live Science. May 25, 2007. (November 12, 2012) http://www.livescience.com/4462-ancestor-matrix-sentinel-robot-born.html
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- Futurama. "Hasta La Vista...Meatbag (Clip from program)". YouTube.com. Feb. 4, 2012. (November 13, 2012) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jJBpY2vPnj4
- Kelly, Kevin. "One-Eyed Aliens! Suicide Booths! Mom's Old-Fashioned Robot Oil!" Wired.com. Undated. (November 13, 2012) http://www.wired.com/search?query=bender+futurama&cx=010858178366868418930%3Afk33zkiunj8&cof=FORID%3A9&ie=UTF-8
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- Snider, Brandon T. "DC Comics Ultimate Character Guide." DK Children. 2011. (November 12, 2012) http://www.amazon.com/DC-Comics-Ultimate-Character-Guide/dp/0756682614/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1352781156&sr=8-2&keywords=dc+comics+encyclopedia
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