pop culture robots, a historical study: gnut

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Gnut first appeared in Farewell to the Master, a science fiction short story written by Harry Bates and published in the October 1940 issue of Astounding Science Fiction. The story was then made into a film called The Day The Earth Stood still (1951) and Gnut’s name was changed to Gort. This giant killer humanoid robot is a bodyguard for a mysterious alien call Klaatu (a humanoid alien ambassador of peace). Here is the deliciously kitsch movie trailer…

Gort does not speak but he can pulverise anything with his awesome laser beam that shoots from his visor. He is made from one sheet of metal and stands over 8 feet tall. Even in black and white Gort was an intimidating character. He is part of an interstellar police force trying to preserve peace by destroying anything he perceives as a threat.

“In matters of aggression, we have given them absolute power over us. This power cannot be revoked. At the first sign of violence, they act automatically against the aggressor.” – Klaatu

Klaatu comes to earth on a mission of peace but is confronted by humanities tendency to panic when facing the unknown. While Gort never speaks, his mission of destruction destruction is halted the words Klaatu barada nikto. This phrase was never translated and it’s true meaning remains a mystery.

The 2008 remake staring Keanu Reeves and Jennifer Connelly is a much more polished big blockbuster affair but it lacks the examination of the human condition of the original film. Casting Mr Reeves might seem a logical step as his wooden performance might perfectly suit the role of alien but I don’t buy it. I’ll let YouTuber AlternatingLine sum it up for you “do yourself a favour and avoid the remake”. Love his blunt comparison…

Gort (originally Gnut) is a pioneer in pop culture robotics and is as iconic today as he was in the cold war era. While it’s not official I can see that Gort may have influenced the design of another pop culture robot classic the Cylon… what do you think?

I will be publishing 15 robot profiles over the coming weeks. Feel free to share on social media (please link back to my site).

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pop culture robots, a historical study: rosie the robot

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I wasn’t allowed to watch a lot of TV growing up… it was restricted to Friday afternoon and weekends. Every Saturday morning I’d wake up super early and watch cartoons for as long as I could. I loved reruns of The Jetsons and I particularly loved Rosie the Robot.

The Jetsons hit TV screens in 1962 and started out in black and white. It fed off the belief that in the early part of the 21st century we would all have robot maids… well that hasn’t come true (at least not yet). In the 80’s The Jetsons was played in high rotation (by then they were in colour). Here is an original ad from 1963…

Rosie also appeared in a 2006 AT&T advertisement along with Robby the Robot form Lost in Space, cementing their place in the pop culture psyche of the western world.

Rosie also appeared in Kanye Wests Heartless video (2009). This is a rather lovely video clip and the animation is so illustrative it’s wonderful.Kanye West Heartless (2009)

I will be publishing 15 robot profiles over the coming weeks. Feel free to share on social media (please link back to my site).

Get in touch via Twitter, Instagram or by email :)

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pop culture robots, a historical study: optimus prime

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The Transformers started out as a toy line in 1980’s Japan that evolved into comic books, a TV Series and eventually big Hollywood blockbuster movies.

I loved comic books and cartoons growing up and as soon as The Transformers hit our chunky 80’s TV Screens I was hooked. The bright colours + transforming alien technology + that catchy theme song guaranteed The Transformers cult status. I didn’t expect it to last as long as it did but it franchised really well with ongoing comic books and the cinematic reboot starting in 2007.

Transformers… more than meets the eye! This is the catchy theme song from the 80’s cartoon series… I can still remember singing this in the playground.

Advancements in CGI made 2007 the right time for the big screen adaptation of Transformers… any earlier and it could have been a bit hokey. These movies really were great and they propelled Shia LaBeouf and Megan Fox’s careers to the next big box office level. Here is the trailer for the first non-animated movie Transformers (2007)…

Not unlike his transforming buddies, Shia LaBeouf has transformed himself into somewhat an enigma and is now trying to motivate you to ‘just do it’… don’t forget, anything is possible.

Pop Culture Robots, a Historical Study is an anthropological review of the robots that have graced the pages of our comic books, entertained us in novels and dazzled us on many different types of screens in recent human history.

I will be publishing 15 robot profiles over the coming weeks. Feel free to share on social media (please link back to my site).

Get in touch via Twitter, Instagram or by email :)

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pop culture robots, a historical study: wall-e

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WALL-E is an adorable robot who is left on earth to clean up all of the garbage left by the long-gone human race. Set 700 years in the future, this lovely Pixar/Disney film (2008) explores the life of this lonely robot, how he finds love and helps save the human race. It’s all very lovely and despite the fact that it’s a kids movie, there is plenty in it for the grown ups. I love this film… if you haven’t already seen it then rent it and watch it with your kids… and if you have seen it, watch it again :)

Here is the trailer for the film…

Pop Culture Robots, a Historical Study is an anthropological review of the robots that have graced the pages of our comic books, entertained us in novels and dazzled us on many different types of screens in recent human history.

I will be publishing 15 robot profiles over the coming weeks. Feel free to share on social media (please link back to my site).

Get in touch via Twitter, Instagram or by email :)

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pop culture robots, a historical study: k-9

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First appearing in Doctor Who in 1977 in an episode called The Invisible Enemy, K-9 was a robot dog companion invented by Professor Marius in the year 5000. He became a faithful companion to the fourth Doctor played by Tom Baker. K-9 helped out the doctor with a handy concealed laser in his his nose and an encyclopaedic knowledge and artificial intelligence that helped the doctor immensely. The initial K-9 unit was know as “K-9 Mark I” and in 1978 in an episode called The Invasion of Time he decided to stay on Doctor Who’s home planet Gallifrey. More advanced versions of K-9 appeared in later episodes of the series, as well as in a few spin offs.

Pop Culture Robots, a Historical Study is an anthropological review of the robots that have graced the pages of our comic books, entertained us in novels and dazzled us on many different types of screens in recent human history.

I will be publishing 15 robot profiles over the coming weeks. Feel free to share on social media (please link back to my site).

Get in touch via Twitter, Instagram or by email :)

See ALL #PopCultureRobots See the NEXT #PopCultureRobots

pop culture robots, a historical study: bender

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I LOVE ROBOTS. I LOVE SCI FI. I LOVE DRAWING.

It was only a matter of time before these three loves would come together in one awesome project.

Pop Culture Robots, a Historical Study is an anthropological review of the robots that have graced the pages of our comic books, entertained us in novels and dazzled us on many different types of screens in recent human history.

Bender is a very cheeky industrial metalworking robot built in 2996 and is a leading character in Matt Groening’s much-loved Futurama (1999 TV Series). He was made in Fábrica Robótica De La Madre (Spanish: “Mom’s Robot Factory”), a manufacturing facility of Mom’s Friendly Robot Company in Tijuana, Mexico but he ends up living in New New York City working with his friends, the crew of the Planet Express delivery space ship. Bender’s wit and disregard for humanity doesn’t get in the way of eventually looking out for his friends. If you haven’t already watched Futurama, then do yourself a favour.

I will be publishing 15 robot profiles over the coming weeks. Feel free to share on social media (please link back to my site).

Get in touch via Twitter, Instagram or by email :)

See ALL #PopCultureRobots See the NEXT #PopCultureRobots