Robots Have (His)stories
Machines, robots, and androids, are not a recent invention: artificial life forms have kindled the imagination of mankind for centuries. We already know concepts of robots from earlier times like Greek mythology and literature of past centuries.
Pandora was formed out of clay by Hephaestus; Olimpia is the robot woman whom the protagonist in ETA Hoffmann's "Sandman" falls in love with, and Hadaly was the first fictional artificial life form which was called "Android". Meanwhile, several decades (and in some cases even centuries) ago, robots made the leap from fantasy to reality.
In our analysis of the naming of robots though, we do not distinguish between real and fictional machines, automata and artificial intelligences. We deal with all kinds of names for artificial life forms: robots, machines, and automata, whether they exist, have existed, or whether they are sprung from the realm of legend or the imagination of science fiction writers.
Robot Names - From Highly Creative to Pretty Boring
When looking at robot names from the current and past centuries, we find that there are some similarities and patterns which can be observed in robot names.
Acronyms are especially popular today, closely followed by individual proper names. Also, names with robot-specific word components are frequently being used so that we find a myriad of Robo***s, ***bots, and Mecha***s. Also, the pattern "*** the robot" or the name Robbie enjoy great popularity, as well as pure fantasy names. Of course, there are no constraints in the naming of robots, so we can enjoy also a rich variety of different names.
So let's have a look at the different types of names for robots! Of course, we'll provide you with plenty of examples of robot names that you may or may not know.
Characterizing Names for Robots
The name of a robot can point directly to its functionality and serve to characterize them. The preferred choice for characterizing robots in their names are of course acronyms, but also simple descriptive names are sometimes used.
Acronyms are abbreviations. Particularly used for complex robot names, they are convenient because they can aggregate a lot of information in a small space. It's especially beautiful, of course, if the abbreviation again results in a new word. Countless robots' names are therefore so-called apronyms, where the abbreviation forms a new word.
Robots whose names are acronyms:
- HAL 9000 ("Heuristically Programmed Algorithmic computer") from Space Odyssey
- EDI ("Extreme Deep Invader") from Stealth
- KITT ("Knight Industries Two Thousand") from Knight Rider
- WALL-E ("Waste Allocation Load Lifter - Earth-Class") from WALL-E
Robots whose names are acronyms which result in proper names:
- EVE ("Extraterrestrial Vegetation Evaluator") from WALL-E
- HARLIE ("Human Analog Robot Life Input Equivalents") from When HARLIE Was One
- S.A.M. ("Super Automated Machine") from Sesame Street
- BEN ("Bio-Electronic Navigator") from Treasure Planet
- H.E.R.B.I.E. ("Humanoid Experimental Robot, B-type, Integrated Electronics") from Fantastic Four
- R.I.C. 2.0 ("Robotic Interactive Canine") from Power Rangers SPD
- S.O.P.H.I.E. ("Series One Processor Hyper Intelligent Encriptor") from Power Rangers SPD
- D.A.V.E. ("Digitally Advanced Villain Emulator") from Batman
Robots whose names are Apronyme:
- SHROUD ("Synthetic Human, Radiation Output Determined") and SHOCK ("Synthetic Human Object, Casualty Kinematics") from the novel V. by Thomas Pynchon
- CHOMPS ("Canine HOMe Protection System"), a robot dog from CHOMPS
- Mr. R.I.N.G. ("Robomatic internalized Nerve Ganglia") from Kolchak: The Night Stalker
By the way, with NameRobot's Acronyms tool you can automatically generate various kinds of acronyms for selected keywords.
Some robots don't necessarily need to be equipped with a full arsenal of keywords. Instead, you can often find one or two appropriate attributes by which they can be characterized. This often leads to simple descriptive names for robots. Thus, people and machines (and aliens ;) ) interacting with the robot immediately know what and who they are dealing with.
Robot names whose names are descriptive:
- K-9 (pronounced like English "canine"; dog), a robot dog from Doctor Who
- Commander Data from Star Trek: The Next Generation
- The Hangman from Home Is the Hangman by Roger Zelazny
- Chip, a robotic teenager from Not Quite Human
- Bender Bending Rodríguez Bending Unit 22 from Futurama
- Astrobiy from the anime Astroboy
- Little Helper, Gyro Gearloose's robot assistant from the Disney comics
- Irona, the robot maid of Richie Rich from the cartoon series
- Gold, Iron, Lead, Tin, Mercury and Platinum from Metal Men
- Deep Thought, chess computer
- Maschinenmensch (Machine Man) from Metropolis
Ideas for descriptive robot names can be found quickly and easily with the tools from NameRobot's inspiration workbench, the Wordshop. After having logged in you can use all Wordshop tools like the Brainstorming tool or Rhymes Tool for free.
The conclusion to characterize names for robots:
Acronyms and descriptive names are suitable for: almost all kinds of robots and artificial intelligences.
Proper Names for Robots
A robot name does not necessarily indicate functionality or character. Instead, similar to humans and domestic animals, a proper name can be chosen which simply stands for itself and sounds good. Some robots have a name that sounds very human-like. Others wear pure fantasy names that often sound very robot-specific.
Some robot names don't allow you to recognize that the individual named is in fact a machine and not a living creature. Androids, which are not only equipped with artificial intelligence, but also with a humanoid body, often have names that sound very human.
Examples of robots, whose names sound human:
- Andrew Martin from Bicentenntial Man by Isaac Asimov
- Marvin, the Paranoid Android from The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
- Rosie from the Jetsons
- Ilia from Star Trek - The Movie
- Eve of Eve of Destruction
- Molly from Metal Molly
With NameRobot's first names tool names for robots can be found by meaning. This allows you to find names for robots that not only sound human but also convey a character trait.
Typical Robot Fantasy Names
Many robots have a fantasy name. Here, the creativity of the name finder knows no limits. It's good to make the name sound pretty futuristic, though. One- and two-syllable names with unusual characters such as x, y and z predominate here. Surnames are found only rarely with fantasy robot names but do also occur.
Monosyllabic robot typical names:
- Zat from The Lost Machine by John Wyndham
- Gort from The Day the Earth Stood Still
- Boron from The Last of the Masters by Philip K. Dick
- Torg from Santa Claus Conquers the Martians
- Ash from Alien
- Yod of He, She and It by Marge Piercy
- Plex from Yo Gabba Gabba!
- Zed from Ed and Zed Show
Robot typical two-syllable names:
- Tik-Tok from the Oz books by L. Frank Baum
- Solo from Weapon by Robert Mason
- Elio from A Tale of Time City by Diana Wynne Jones
- Weebo from Flubber
Fantasy names for robots can be created quickly and easily with the NameRobot's fantasy name generator It's not even necessary to previously collect keywords because the tool itself is creative enough.
Summary of proper names for robots:
Proper names for robots are well suited for: androids, cyborgs, Gynbots or fembots - all kinds of robots that have not only human intelligence but also a humanoid body.
Automata Names for Robots
Many robots have names, which make it plainly clear that its bearer is a machine and not a living creature. One could of course complain that names of this type are not particularly creative. But these robot-specific names are extremely powerful because they can be combined with almost all other keywords, which makes the name individual after all.
Countless robots have technical-sounding specific syllable combinations as part of their names, such as e.g. Robo*** or ***bot. These syllables can be combined with descriptive elements. Such a name means that everyone knows what is going on, and yet the name is unique.
Examples of robot names containing ***bot
- Combot from Tekken 4
- Cambot from Mystery Science Theater 3000
- the Doombots from Marvel Comics
- Rabbot from Aqua Teen Hunger Force
- CMU Ballbot, a real robot at Carnegie Mellon University who can balance on a ball
- Boe-Bot, the Board of Education robot, a robot kit
Examples of robot names containing Robo ***
- EggRobo from Sonic
- Robo from Chrono Trigger
- Robotboy from the series of the same name
- Robocop from the movie of the same name
Other examples of names with robot-specific syllables
- Ro-Man from Robot Monster
- Mechani-Kong from King Kong - Son of Frankenstein
- Mechagodzilla from different Godzilla films
- Major Metallitron from Dragon Ball
- Mechanismo from Judge Dredd
Robbie the Robot
As professional name finders, we are really not impressed by the habit of naming a robot "Robbie", or to provide it with the suffix "the robot". Nevertheless, this type of designation is often used, especially in fictional works where the target group is children.
*** the robot
- Robot John from Voyage to the Prehistoric Planet (1965) and Voyage to the Planet of Prehistoric Women
- Andy the Robot from Quark
- Chuck the Robot from an episode of Mork & Mindy
- Jimmy the Robot from Aquabats! Super Show!
- Robbie from I, Robot by Stanislaw Lem
- Robby from Forbidden Planet
- Robbi aka ROB 344-66/IIIa from Robbi, Tobbi and the Fliewatüüt
- Robbie from Fix and Foxi
For so uncreative names, we unfortunately cannot propose a NameRobot Tool. We strongly recommend looking at the Wordshop in the NameRobot Toolbox for inspiration to more creative name ideas. ;-)
Summary of Machine Names for Robots:
Names that only fit robots are well suited for: automata, machines, kid-friendly robots.
Other Robot Names
The field of robot names is wider than one would generally assume, and naming a robot knows hardly any limits. Here are a few examples of topics that can be used for robot names or can at least serve as inspiration.
Mythology and Abstract Concepts as Robot Names
Words from classical mythology, for example, Greek gods and heroes, but also powerful words and names that stand for abstract ideas or concepts offer a treasure trove for robot name inspiration. They emphasize an affinity to classic values, millennia-old philosophies, and ancient cultures that are nevertheless essential for our present society and for shaping the future.
Examples of robot names from mythology as robot names
- Alpha and Omega of The Flash;
- Alpha 5 from Power Rangers
- Hydra, a chess computer
- Daemon, Helena, Marius, Primus, Radius, Sulla from Rossum's Universal Robots by Karel Čapek
Examples of abstract concepts as robot names
- Nomad rover
- Opportunity rover
- Sojourner rover
- Spirit rover
- Curiosity rover
As inspiration for abstract concepts, you can use Wikipedia's excellent philosophy portal. With just a few clicks in any of the articles, you will have found uncountable ideas.
Letter and Number Combinations
A standard method for naming robots is the use of simple letter and number combinations. Unlike acronyms, these are not abbreviations. Using numbers in names provides you with a very technologically-inspired touch.
Examples of letter and number combinations
- T-800 from Terminator
- C-3PO and R2-D2 from Star Wars
- L-76, Z-1, Z-2, Z-3, Ez-27 The Rest of the Robots
- ED-209 from RoboCop
- Robot B-9 from Lost in Space
- ASTAR from a Canadian ad
Inventive Names and Plays on Words
Some robots are equipped with truly inventive names, which conjure associations or are clever plays on words. They are not what your usual robot is called.
Examples of inventive names
- Boilerplate, a Victorian Robot
- Anne Droid from Doctor Who
- Gunslinger from Trinity Blood
The Conclusion to Inventive Robot Names:
These names are suitable for: All robots that are special and should be distinguished from other robots.
NameRobot - the Machine for Naming Robots
As we've seen, there are more than enough types of names for robots. Now, you are spoiled for choice for what kind of name you want to choose when naming a robot.
Of course, you've got to ask yourself some questions before deciding on a name: Is the robot a single unit, or working with the same or different types of robots together as a team? Is he an artificial intelligence or simply a stupid machine that automatically satisfies simple tasks? Should there be successors, so that the name can be usefully extended or supplemented?
NameRobot's Toolbox can help you simplify, structure and organize finding a name for a robot. Our multiple name generators create different types of names. Most tools and name generators free of charge, so just give it a try.
To all those who have to find a name for a robot, whether for a fictional android, a mechanical machine or artificial intelligence: we wish you a lot of fun and success in finding a name!