Click to viewAs a non-American, the fact that the US celebrates Labor Day by taking a vacation has always been of interest and amusement to me. But why stop with just taking one day off? If there's one thing that science fiction has taught us, it's that technology exists to create machines that will not only do our jobs for us, but do so with comfortingly human characteristics. We think that it's time to salute some of the brave fictional mechanoids that make future humanity much, much lazier.Rosie the Robot Maid: If you ask us, everyone should want their very own Rosie having seen what she does for The Jetsons. After all, she cooks, she cleans, she calls you "Mr [Whatever the initial of your last name is]," and all while wearing a frilly apron - What could be better? Sure, she later killed George Jetson in a parody of I, Robot, but you can overlook that when you taste how good her chicken is.
HERBIE, the Robot Nanny: He may have been created because animators couldn't use the Human Torch (either due to rights issues or a fear of children setting themselves on fire in a misguided attempt at hero-emulation, depending on who you listen to), but that doesn't stop HERBIE - or Humanoid Experimental Robot, B-type, Integrated Electronics, if you're being formal - from being our favorite flying sarcastic nanny-bot that consistently fails to keep Franklin Richards out of trouble on a regular basis. For bonus points, he also inspired The Venture Bros.' HELPeR, and that alone earns him a spot on this (spotless) hall of fame.
R2-D2: And talking of sarcastic robots, Star Wars' true star deserves his day in the sun as well. Constantly seen as the comedic foil of the more English-speaking C3-PO, R2 may be a fan-favorite, but still never really gets his due as an all-round entertainer, whether it's being used as a floating Jedi-training device, lock-breaker or just plain drinks server, as on Jabba's barge. If there's something that this little droid can't do - aside from speak in any intelligible language - then we'd like to see it.
Kryten: Red Dwarf's Canadian-accented robo-butler brought more than the ability to dust to the series when he arrived in the show's third season; he also brought a ridiculous amount of common sense. So much so that it's easy to overlook his inability to say the word "smeghead," that whole exploding head thing, and his various crotch attachments that make vacuuming a lot more fun.
Bender: While I'll give you that the benefits of having your very own steel bending robot may not be immediately obvious - or, even that obvious after a couple of moments of thought, for that matter - it's the other attributes of Bender Bending Rodríguez that make him a must-have for every home. Who hasn't wanted a kleptomaniac chef (although we'd suggest that you hide the salt before letting him in the kitchen) with a talent for folk music and seemingly unlimited storage space in his chest cavity? And, if you are that person, then I'd like to suggest that you get your head checked. You can keep your other, respectful robot servants; Gruff and multi-tasking is the way of our worker droid future, thanks very much.