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When robots, computers, and other machines appear in fiction, there are a few common ways for them to be named. See also Names Given to Computers, NameTron and Law of Alien Names.

When done straight, a phrase describing the machine's function is shortened to an acronym, or made the name itself.

Anime and Manga

  • Alpha from Yokohama Kaidashi Kikou named herself after her model name, since it was still pretty rare when she was created.

Comic Books

  • Eradikator 6, the Exterminators and the Protectors from the Marvel Universe.

Film

  • Beta of The Last Starfighter
  • Both Ash and Bishop from the Aliens franchise have names containing SH, possibly to indicate they are Synthetic Humanoids. Falls apart in Alien Resurrection with Annalee Call though, unless C-near-L stands for Cybernetic Lifeform or similar.
    • Cybernetic Artificial Lifeform, perchance?
    • There's also the A-B-C pattern to think about.
      • And Prometheus would continue this pattern with "David".
  • AUTO from WALL-E is short for Autopilot.

Literature

  • Pern's computer "AIVAS" (Artificial Intelligence Voice-Address System)

Live-Action TV

Video Games

  • GLaDOS, the Genetic Lifeform and Disk Operating System from Portal. Her name might also be a variant of "Gladys", as in the naming scheme below.
  • Only a handful of Robot Masters of Mega Man aren't called "Something man", where something describes some kind of theme related to their powers or function.
  • All Terrain Armored Combatants or ATACs, from the PS 1 game Vanguard Bandits.
  • In Tron 2.0, a particularly knowledgeable Tower Guardian program is called I-No.

Web Comics

Western Animation

Alternately, a common word or name is made into a relevant backronym.

Anime and Manga

  • Miyu for "Multiple/Merciful Intelligential Yggdrasil Unit" (depending on whether it's the Hime or Otome universe) from the Mai Franchise.

Comic Books

  • J.A.K.E., short for "Jungle Assault Killer Experiment", from The DCU.
  • A.D.A.M., short for "Ambient-Energy Dampening Actualization Module", from the Marvel Universe.

Film

  • D.A.R.Y.L. ("Data Analysing Robot Youth Lifeform") from the movie of the same name.
  • The titular artificial woman from the film S1m0ne is, in fact, Sim(ulation) One.
  • The Iron Man movies turn Tony Stark's butler Jarvis into a computer named J.A.R.V.I.S. It isn't revealed what the Backronym is.
    • Discussion elsewhere (forgot the exact site) suggests "Just A Really Very Intelligent System"
      • Its from the novel of the movie.
    • In the comics, Tony had a computer called H.O.M.E.R. (Heuristically Operative Matrix Emulation Rostrum).
    • The comics also featured I.S.A.A.C.
  • HAL (Heuristically programmed ALgorithmic computer) - technically a HAL 9000, but no others ever appeared in the series -- from ~2001: A Space Odyssey~.
  • GERTY from Moon.
  • V.I.N.CENT, short for "Vital Information Necessary, CENTralized", from Disney's 1979 movie The Black Hole.
  • AMEE ("Autonomous Mapping Exploration and Evasion") from the science fiction film Red Planet.
  • Most of the robots from WALL-E fit in this catagory:
    • WALL-E - Waste Allocation Load Lifter - Earth Class
    • EVE - Extraterrestrial Vegetation Evaluator
    • M-O - Microbe Obliterator

Live-Action TV

 Joey: I'm up for the part of Mac Macaveli or "Mac". I'm a detective and I solve crimes with the help of my robot partner. He's a Computerized Humanoid Electronically Enhanced Secret Enforcer or "C.H.E.E.S.E."

Rachel: So... Mac and C.H.E.E.S.E.?

Joey:That's the title! Yeah! You know, they really lucked out that the initials spell cheese.

Chandler: That is lucky.

  • SELMA (Specified Encapsulated Limitless Memory Archive) from Time Trax.
  • S.A.M. ("Super Automated Machine") from Sesame Street.
  • Mr. R.I.N.G. ("Robomatic Internalized Nerve Ganglia") from Kolchak the Night Stalker.
  • Parodied on Mystery Science Theater 3000 when Joel reveals to Crow in a flashback that his name actually stands for "Cybernetic Remotely Operated Woman." After Crow flips out that he's really a woman, Joel reveals it as the elaborate set-up for a joke.

Video Games

  • R.O.B, the Nintendo robot who has made cameos in several games. Stands for "Robotic Operating Buddy", since it helps you play games.
  • KOS-MOS, in Xenosaga. Her name is not only a backronym, it's also a recursive acronym. Kosmos Obey Strategical Multiple Operation Systems.
    • In the same series, MOMO is an acronym for Multiple Observation Mimetic Organicus.
  • In the video game Song Summoner: the Unsung Heroes, Z.E.R.O.'s name isn't actually an acronym; he's named after Ziggy's brother Zero, and as a reference to the fact that his serial number (SGNB 00000000 AA) contains many zeroes.

Web Comics

  • Parodied on Dragon Tails. Bluey creates the Christmas Holographic Refracting Illusion System, and names it...Barry.

Web Original

  • The CyborgName website bacronyms your name and sells T-shirts with the robot names on them. This wiki translates as "Transforming Versatile Technician Responsible for Observation, Peacekeeping and Efficient Sabotage".
    • Efficient Sabotage? Uhhh...
      • Yes, extremely efficient sabotage.
        • Television / Videogame Trope Repository Of Perpetual Entertainment Subversion

Western Animation

  • H.E.R.B.I.E. ("Humanoid Experimental Robot, B-type, Integrated Electronics") the robot from the DePatie-Freleng Enterprises version of The Fantastic Four.
    • The comic also featured H.U.B.E.R.T., short for Hyper-Ultronic Brain Employing Randomized Tracings.
  • Parodied with GIR on Invader Zim:

 Zim: "GIR"? What does the "G" stand for?

GIR: I don't know...

  • MAR-10 from Dexter's Laboratory.
  • All of the robot characters in WALL-E, including the main character ("Waste Allocation Load Lifter, Earth-class"), EVE ("Extraterrestrial Vegetation Evaluator"), but
  • E.A.R.L., short for "Electronic Automatic Robotic Lighthouse", from The Simpsons.
    • There is also C.H.U.M., short for "Childlike-Humanoid-Urban-Muchacho."
  • I.S.R.A.E.L., short for "Intelligent Smart Robot Animation Eraser Lady", from the Drawn Together movie.
  • B.E.N., short for "Bio-Electronic Navigator", from Treasure Planet.
  • The B.A.T.s ("Battle Android Trooper") from G.I. Joe.
  • F.L.U.F.F.I. from Bionic Six.
  • JANICE, from Robotech, stands for "Junctioned Artificial Neuro-Integrated Cybernetic Entity".
  • In Carmen's backstory in Where on Earth Is Carmen Sandiego??, The Chief's name is revealed to be an acronym meaning "Computerized Holographic Imaging Educational Facilitator." Back when he worked with Carmen, he was a robot.

A string of numbers and letters, often containing at least one hyphen.

Anime

Comic Books

  • In Marvel Comics, Machine Man's official designation when he was built was X-51, but he much prefers the name his adoptive father gave him, Aaron. In fact, addressing him as "X-51" is probably the fastest way to make him angry at you.
  • RRU-9-2 from The DCU.
  • MX 39147 from Alpha Flight.
  • SJ 3 RX, better known as Red Ronin, from the Marvel Universe.

Film

  • Star Wars has R2-D2 and C-3PO among innumerable others.
    • It is interesting to note that in certain historical periods, some fans believed that this naming convention was not specific to robots, believing Kenobi's first name to be "OB-1"

 Obi-Wan:If I'm Obi-Wan, does that make you Obi-Two?

  • From The Matrix's expanded media, the first robot to intentionally kill a human was named BI66-ER.

Literature

  • Buck Rogers gives us Twiki, from the robot's alphanumeric designation: TWKE-4
  • The titular character in Eric Frank Russell's 1941 story, Jay Score revealed to be a model J.20 robot on the final page.
  • Although not robots, Lois McMaster Bujold uses this for the names of several genetically engineered life forms. In Ethan of Athos, Terrance's full product number includes Terran-C, and Janine's number includes J9. In "Labryinth", Miles meets Nine, the last survivor of ten prototypes. She is later renamed Taura. The Quaddies from Falling Free all have names derived from their serial numbers as well. The names vary from traditional (Tony) through unusual-but-not-unheard-of (Silver) to decidedly odd (Pramod).

Live-Action TV

  • On Red Dwarf, Kryten (obviously) as a more "normal" first name, but his full name is Kryten 2X4B-523P.
    • In one episode, he claims that he shortens it to Kryten since he thinks "2X4B" is a dorky middle name. But not as bad as an acquaintance of his, called 2Q4B.
  • If we allow Greek letters as well, Power Rangers has Alpha 5 and Alpha 6.

Video Games

  • From Chrono Trigger, R-66Y AKA Robo.
  • The W-Series in Super Robot Wars, despite coming up with normal sounding names, they have their own robot names, which ranges from W00 to W17, in order of the creation sequence.
  • ν-13, the Yandere Robot Girl SNK Boss of Blaz Blue.
    • And that's not a V. That's the Greek letter "nu", which happens to be the 13th letter of that alphabet. (Looks identical in many fonts.)
  • The E-Series robots from Sonic the Hedgehog all have this style of name, with E followed by a number.
    • E-102 Gamma, and E-123 Omega are the main examples.
  • Clank has at least three names; two of them are strings of numbers (one his serial number and the other his actual name, XJ0461) and the last-- well what do you think it is?

Web Comics

  • It seems that the standardized format for designating robots in Gunnerkrigg Court is through single-letter model designations (H-Models for the horse robots, HL-Models for the heavy lifting robots, S-Models for the "Seraph" robots, etc.). Individual robots get numbers appended to their model name: the robot that Annie built is S13, and the Super Prototype of the S-Models is S1.
    • Though there are multiple exceptions: see every other subsection of this page.

Western Animation

  • K-10, KIT-9, and COCKA-3 from the "Go God Go XVII" episode of South Park. They are supposed to be close to things you'd read as an actual word; if K-10 and KIT-9 switched numbers, they would be read like "canine" and "kitten," in reference to the species they are designed after. Similarly, if COCKA-3's number was one less, it'd be "cockatoo."
  • X-J9 In My Life as a Teenage Robot. She doesn't like the name much and prefers to be called Jenny.
  • Robot X-1 from Futurama.

A similar string of numbers or letters which resembles a word or name, either as written, or when read aloud.

Anime and Manga

Comic Books

Fanfic

Film

Literature

  • Probably invented by Isaac Asimov with his US Robotics stories: NDR = Andrew, LNE = Lenny, etc.
  • The Bolos created by Keith Laumer usually have three-letter designations (sometimes with numbers) and nicknames derived from those designations: Unit LNE (Lenny), JSN (Jason), SPQR (Senator), DAK (Das Afrika Korps), and RML-1138 (Rommel) are typical examples. The last two appear in unrelated stories.

Live-Action TV

Video Games

  • T-ELOS, also from Xenosaga.
  • The CL 4 P-TP General Purpose Robots in Borderlands are normally referred to as "Claptraps".
    • Or "Intergalactic Ninja Assassin"
  • O2-JOY, from Noitu Love.
  • Ma3a (Mathreea) from Tron 2.0.
  • Jak X: Combat Racing has UR-86, a robot designed to takes out its opponents. UR is obviously "you are" and "to 86" means to get rid something.

Web Comics

  • Princess Voluptua's valet, W-2: 9000 from The Inexplicable Adventures of Bob is a reference to the W2 tax form.
  • In Bob and George, the original robot characters named N4-T3 and C1-14D-L1N6, which just happen to look like Nate and Chadling, respectively.
  • Schlock Mercenary has some fun with this one.
    • For those not sufficiently familiar with Roman numerals, the other names mentioned are, in order: "Gavin", "Xavier", "Algernon", "Kacey", "Victor", "Allen", "Michael", "David" and "Michelle".

Western Animation

  • The Mighty Orbots, Tor, Bort, Bo, Boo, Krunch and Ono had names that reflected their personalities.
    • Tor was the strongman.
    • Bort was the shapeshifter with an identity crisis, and his name is a partial anagram of the word robot.
      • Actually, except from Ono and Krunch, all of the Orbots' names are partial anagrams of "robot."
    • Bo and Boo were mischievous twins.
    • Ono was the babysitter figure, who tended to preface every scolding of the others [including their human leader] with "Oh, no!"
  • NOS-4A2 From Buzz Lightyear of Star Command. It's an energy vampire, and its model name when spoken aloud sounds like Nosferatu.
  • GICU2 the short-lived transforming security robot from DuckTales.
  • Not actually a robot, but worth mentioning: XLR 8 of Ben 10 fame.

Slightly mutated terms related to math, machinery or electronics.

Comic Books

Film

Literature

Live-Action TV

Video Games

Web Comics

Western Animation

Robo-something

Anime and Manga

  • As a Shout-Out to Asimov, robots in The Big O also preface their names with the initial R. The one most often encountered was R. Dorothy Wayneright.

Comic Books

Film

Literature

  • The robots in most of Asimov's stories all had the first initial R. (for robot) in front of what appeared to be near-human first name/last name name builds.

Live-Action TV

Video Games

  • Again from Chrono Trigger, Robo AKA R-66Y
  • Robo-Ky from Guilty Gear XX is a robot designed to resemble Ky Kiske.
  • When Annie builds a robot in Gunnerkrigg Court, she simply names it Robot, and he answers to this from then on. It's later revealed that his original name was S13.
    • Also, Robox. Who is basically a box on legs.

Web Original

Western Animation

  • The Robot Devil, of all robots. And Robo-Puppy.
  • Robot Jones from Whatever Happened to Robot Jones?.

Something-tron or Something-bot

Comic Books

Film - Live

  • The Orgasmatron in Barbarella, invented by Duran Duran

Live-Action TV

Web Comics

Western Animation

  • Megatron (who later becomes Galvatron) of Transformers
    • Lots of Transformers characters or places have the "-tron" or "-bot" naming convention: Autobot, Transbot, Cybertron, Banzai-tron, Velocitron...
  • Futurama's "Hedonism-bot".
    • And Reverend Preacher-bot, Beelze-bot, Kwanzaa-bot, and dozens more!
  • Bunnie Rabbot of Sonic the Hedgehog is another cyborg example of this naming convention.
    • In an unpublished story for the Archie Sonic continuity, it was to be revealed that her actual name was "Scarlett O'Hare".

References to other pop culture, or actual human names.

Anime and Manga

  • Most robots from Yokohama Kaidashi Kikou choose their own, usually human-sounding, name. Kokone is one such example.
  • Chachamaru Karakuri in Mahou Sensei Negima: her name is written with the Kanji for "tea", while "Karakuri" are a spring-powered, tea-serving doll mainly used in Japan's Meiji period. Meaningful Name indeed.

Comic Books

  • Skeets from Booster Gold, he's a small yellow flying security bot with a laser, you figure out why he's called Skeets.
    • Which is to say the flying targets at shooting ranges, which resemble him. Not the hip-hop slang kind of skeet. (Also a kind of target shooting, but not the kind you're thinking of.)

Film

Literature

  • Zane Gort from The Silver Eggheads by Fritz Leiber, a robot author (creator of the popular Dr. Tungsten series), whose name is an homage to Zane Gray and to Gort, the alien robot of The Day the Earth Stood Still. Also, his lady-love, the government-built censor-robix, Miss Phyllis Blushes. (She's plated in pink anodized aluminum. Zane, on the other hand, is blued steel.) (And "robix" is that setting's term for a female robot. Robot sexuality is one of the amusing features of the setting.)
  • Marvin, the Paranoid Android, from Hitch Hikers Guide to The Galaxy.

Live-Action TV

Video Games

Web Comics

  • Lincoln from Coga Suro. Later robot names follow a Greek mythology theme [Styx, Persephone, Hades].
    • Speaking of Styx, there's also Mr. Roboto.
  • The robot cows from Gunnerkrigg Court are all named Elsie with a number (for example, Elsie 113). This was apparently chosen because "Elsie" sounds just like "L.C.", which stands for Laser Cow.
    • Also a reference to the Borden Company's cartoon mascot, Elsie the Cow.
  • Winslow and Momo from Questionable Content

Western Animation

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