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A robot

A robot by Dr. Ira Graves

A robot was a machine that automatically performed a set of typically pre-programmed tasks and had limited autonomy. (TOS: "I, Mudd")

In early science fiction writing, the idea of a robot tended to include thinking machines that could perform independent judgments. Later, this was revised to the idea of an android and the notion of robots became limited to less advanced forms of machines. The basis for this change is generally credited to Isaac Asimov who, though referring to them as robots, created characters who were far more intelligent than Humans and operated according to the "Three Laws of Robotics" which later became the accepted basis for many characteristics of android behavior.

Besides a robotic dog, Dr. Ira Graves had another robot with a frog-like head in his home on Gravesworld. (TNG: "The Schizoid Man")

Albert Macklin, a science fiction writer for Incredible Tales magazine during the 1950s, wrote stories that featured robots almost exclusively. (DS9: "Far Beyond the Stars")

Deep Space 9 had a store called Tom Servo's Used Robots. (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine set decoration)

The holographic novel The Adventures of Captain Proton featured a character known as Satan's Robot. (VOY: "Night", "Bride of Chaotica!")

The M-4 unit was a robot constructed by Flint. (TOS: "Requiem for Methuselah")

In 2259 of the alternate reality, James T. Kirk declared that he was not going to take ethics lessons from a robot, namely Spock, after the Vulcan tried to explain why firing advanced long-range torpedoes at "John Harrison" and Qo'noS was unacceptable. (Star Trek Into Darkness)

In 2266, a frantic Dave Bailey asked if the crew of the USS Enterprise were robots due to their lack of reaction to what he percieved as the end. (TOS: "The Corbomite Maneuver")

In 2267, James T. Kirk argued that the Vaalians were people rather than robots and should be able to make their own choices rather than have their willpower superseded by Vaal. (TOS: "The Apple")

In 2268, upon Ensign Harper's death at the hands of the M-5 multitronic unit, Kirk became upset, saying that unlike the unmanned ore freighter it had previously destroyed, the ensign wasn't a robot. (TOS: "The Ultimate Computer")

In 2364, L.Q. Clemonds, upon hearing Commander William T. Riker refer to Lieutenant Commander Data as an android, asked if he meant a robot. To this, Data responded that there was a distinct difference between an android and a robot. (TNG: "The Neutral Zone")

In 2369, the exocomps, a type of highly advanced industrial and utility robots began displaying signs of sentience and self-preservation. The Federation later recognized the exocomps as artificial lifeforms, and in 2380, at least one exocomp served as an ensign in Starfleet. (TNG: "The Quality of Life"; LD: "No Small Parts")

The term "robot" was coined by Czech science fiction writer Karel Čapek in his play R.U.R. (Rossum's Universal Robots). The word was actually invented by his brother, Josef Čapek.

See also


In the Fifteenth UK Story Arc, set in the late 2260s, a research depot on Venus lent the USS Enterprise experimental repair robots.

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