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TARDIS Index File

Robot

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A robot — also called an automaton by at least the Tenth Doctor (PROSE: The Last Dodo) — was a mechanical device with the ability to do work without the help of a living organism. One type of robot was an android (a humanoid robot, such as Kamelion, who could also shape-shift). (TV: The King's Demons) Robots also came in other forms, such as dog-like (e.g. K9). (TV: The Invisible Enemy)

On many planets, robots were used as a servile labour force. One known use was law enforcement on Earth in 2050. (TV: Regeneration, Mutant Copper) Their appearance sometimes generated strong emotions in people, a condition known as Robophobia or Grimwade's Syndrome. (TV: The Robots of Death)

They were powered in many different ways, such as by black light. (TV: Four to Doomsday)

Although robots were programmed with several hundred safety protocols inhibiting violence, a skilled mechanic, such as Taren Capel, could bypass these, allowing the robot to wreak havoc. (TV: The Robots of Death)

Although robots were mainly used for manual labour, they were occasionally used for military purposes by a wide variety of species. (PROSE: The Dust of Ages, AUDIO: Davros, TV: The Parting of the Ways, Dreamland, The Beast Below, The Vault of Secrets) The most perfected of these killing machines was the Raston Warrior Robot. (TV: The Five Doctors)

Smilers were robots aboard the Starship UK that taught children and also enforced the law on the ship. (TV: The Beast Below)

Etymology Edit

According to the Eleventh Doctor, the word was Czech. It was invented in 1920 by Karel Capek. It literally meant "forced labour". (COMIC: The Broken Man)

History Edit

Robots existed throughout the universe in many times, for many purposes. On Earth, humans used robots for work, and also for assistance and company. (TV: The Robots of Death) They were used in similar ways by the people of Sto; aboard the Starship Titanic, robots were dressed as Christmas angels and used for information. (TV: Voyage of the Damned)

By the year 2059, humans were allowed domestic robots. They were also allowed to customise them. Roman Groom claimed that a friend had made her domestic robot look like a dog. (TV: The Waters of Mars)

In Bowie Base One in the year 2059, the team owned a robot called Gadget, who assisted them. (TV: The Waters of Mars)

In the 51st century, Professor Marius missed his dog, so he built a computer in the form of a dog, called K9. (TV: The Invisible Enemy) K9 travelled with the Fourth Doctor and Leela, then left the Doctor to stay with Leela on Gallifrey. (TV: The Invasion of Time) K9 Mark I ended up on 2050 Earth some time before the destruction of Gallifrey, where he helped save the world more than once. [source needed]The Doctor later built K9 Mark II and travelled with him until the robot left with Romana II. (TV: Warriors' Gate)

K9 Mark III was also built by the Doctor and given to Sarah-Jane Smith. (TV: K9 and Company) Sarah Jane kept the robot dog throughout the 80s, 90s and up until 2007, when he sacrificed himself to stop the Krillitane group. (TV: School Reunion) The Doctor built K9 Mark IV soon after for Sarah Jane. K9 Mark IV helped Sarah Jane seal a black hole and fight various aliens. He helped restore the Earth to its original time-space location. (TV: Journey's End, TV: The Mad Woman in the Attic)

Robots were used by organics and cyborgs throughout the history of the universe. On 20th century Earth, a highly advanced robot was used by Think Tank in an attempt to conquer the world. (TV: Robot)

The Heavenly Host were ordered by Max Capricorn to kill those aboard the ship. (TV: Voyage of the Damned)

Cyborgs such as the Cybermen also used robots. (TV: Earthshock)

Emotions and awareness Edit

Several forms of robots seemed to have thoughts and feelings of their own. K9 Mark I showed signs of "sulking", (TV: The Invasion of Time) and the later models did similar things. The K1 Robot showed signs of self awareness and a desire to spare Sarah-Jane's life. (TV: Robot)

Robots also showed signs of confusion when facing things that contradicted facts or programming. Robots tended to show little emotion, care or understanding towards organics, and usually did as they were programmed. They often turned against their masters, but usually because they had been reprogrammed by others to do so, not because of self-awareness. It was evident that robots such as K9 or K1 had awareness, and were not just ordinary machines. Some robots also had their own desires: for example K9 desired affection and K1 desired for Sarah-Jane to live.[additional sources needed]

An L3 series robot like Drathro could show no understanding of the meaning of organic life and conceived itself as a superior being. In a dilemma about saving a human community or not, with both possibilities implying its own "death", it chose to let the humans die. (TV: The Mysterious Planet)

Creators of robots Edit

For every robot, there was a creator, or creators, whether it was humans creating robots, or robots creating other robots. Marius for example invented K9 Mark I, and the Doctor built K9 Mark II and K9 Mark IV and, it is believed, K9 Mark III. (TV: The Invisible Enemy, The Invasion of Time, A Girl's Best Friend, School Reunion) The K1 Robot was built by Professor Kettlewell. (TV: Robot)

Morvin Van Hoff and his wife Foon Van Hoff were able to fix robots. They displayed these skills by reactivating a Heavenly Host. Max Capricorn, or somebody associated with him, had the Heavenly Host robots reprogrammed. (TV: Voyage of the Damned) Taren Capel was capable of reprogramming the Voc robot slaves. (TV: The Robots of Death)

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