There is a new robot in town. Well, if you wanna get technical it’s an android. So it won’t be flexing animatronic guns with these guys or be commanded to solve a murder mystery. But in an already crowded block of steel saviors, this ‘bot stands apart for having a baby face. That’s right. Kid robots, er androids are making a comeback. The newest resident of this small community is Ethan (read more about him below) from “Extant,” which priemeres July 9 on CBS. He comes from a long assembly line of kid ‘bots making TV and movie appearances. So, let’s boot up the memory packs and rewire them to Top 9 famous kid robots.
Ethan is the product of an ER doc turned engineer. We don’t have much intel on him yet, but what we do know is he’s programmed to love his mother-Halle Berry, (who doesn’t come equipped with that microchip?) hates his father’s singing—this android sounds more and more like a real kid—makes weird drawings and may or may not be a pigeon slayer. Welcome to the creepy club for robots, Ethan.
David, “A.I. Artificial Intelligence”
At the top of that creepy list is David, another android made by the hand of Steven Speilberg, but created by Stanley Kubrick. He’s a jr. mecha 'bot used as a replacement kid for parents with a sick child. But, his companionship chip is revoked when their real kid gets a clean bill of health. Forcing David to wander aimlessly (alongside his robotic Teddy) through the world looking for Pinocchio’s blue fairy to make him a real boy, and regain his assigned mom’s love. Sniff, sniff… I’m not crying, just having a brief malfunction with my heartware.
Vicki, “Small Wonder”
You know how some dads bring their work home? Weeeellll that’s technically (no pun intended, but totally works here) the case with Ted Lawson, a robotic engineer that invented the Voice Input Child Identicant (V.I.C.I), and implanted the adolescent ‘bot, featuring super human strength, speed and running on atomic power, into his family. And easily convinces neighbors she’s real by never having her show emotion, altering her monotone voice or changing her ‘50s homemaker outfit.
Toby/ Astro “Astro Boy”
This robotic boy wonder was conceived through Japanese comics from the early ’50s to late 60s. At the time “Astro Boy” was known as “Mighty Atom” and adapted into animated TV series. In 2009, Americans released a CGI super-hero film based loosely on the series that centers on a futuristic Metro City where robots roam the earth freely. Toby is the son of a doctor that advises Metro City’s president, but when a rogue robot accidently kills Toby, his father tries to bring him back to life through ‘bot form. Unsatisfied with the results he casts Toby off into Metro City’s land of reject robots where he makes friends and is christened Astro. He learns to use his powers to defend Metro City from evil by sacrificing himself.
He may look like a normal ten-year-old boy, sound like one and even dress like one (shoulda took notes “Small Wonder”) but Daryl wasn’t created by love, rather out of fear. The Data-Analyzing Robot Youth Life form (hence, Daryl) is a product of the US government’s defense experiment on artificial intelligence. His brain is equipped with a sophisticated microchip that makes him the super ‘bot of multitasking, rapid reflexes and a master computer hacker. The goal is to turn Daryl into a super soldier, but that plan is foiled when a scientist lets him escape. He’s adopted into a four-member family where he develops new super abilities—like being an ace at video games and eerie baseball playing—that threaten his purpose. Realizing he’s garnered human emotions, specifically love, government officials have no use for him and return him back to his adopted family.