Futurama: How Were the Robots Originally Created

In Futurama, technology has reached such a heightened place by the year 3000 that otherwise impossibilities are mere playthings. One of the greatest achievements came with the completion of a new form of the robot on Earth, which has become a central part of life in the 31st century. However, within the world of the series, these robots are a relatively new creation. Here are the events that led to the creation of the robots and which core member of the show's cast was responsible for their creation.

While robots existed over the course of centuries, humanity's repeated backslides in technology and culture -- caused by multiple extinction events -- kept them from advancing too far. However, a young Hubert J. Farnsworth discovered the key to truly autonomous robots. While working at MomCorp for his on-again-off-again romantic partner Carol Miller (a.k.a. Mom), Farnsworth was able to complete construction on a new form of a robot. Each of them would have specific functions and abilities depending on their construction and would be fueled by alcohol.

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Although the robots were essentially given a form of free will -- despite Mom installing a secret control device in all robots -- their commitment to their function and a purposefully empty "free will slot" prevented them from ever abandoning their chief reason for being. This also meant that any specific criminal robots, like the Robot Don or the murderous Roberto, had to be specifically designed. It wouldn't be until Bender was accidentally granted a better sense of free will in Season 1's "Space Pilot 3000" that a robot would truly grow capable of wanting new things in life -- ultimately leading Bender to confront Farnsworth for the only Free Will Unit in Season 7's "Good Will Hunting."

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Despite the impressive design of the robots, Farnsworth wasn't able to figure out how to counteract the fuel efficiency of the robots, resulting in them creating increasing amounts of pollution with their continued existence. Although Farnsworth recognized the peril, as revealed in Season 4's "Crimes of the Hot," he was too enamored with Carol and became distracted from his work, ultimately leaving Mom's Friendly Robot Company out of rage at her constant weaponizing of his inventions. While Farnsworth refocused his attentions on new inventions and a delivery company, Carol became the Earth's most powerful and successful captain of industry, even briefly hiring a young Hermes Conrad and John Zoidberg at various points.

Mom's Friendly Robot Company became a universally recognized entity, and within a few decades, Mom had become one of the most powerful people on Earth. Notably, robots gradually adopted more human aspects as time went on, with many giving into a hedonistic attitude and even developing their religions -- which resulted in the creation of Robot God and the Robot Devil. The eventual demand for robots eventually surpassed the supply, resulting in a tweak to robot designs that allowed for them to procreate sexually -- as revealed in Season 7's "The Bots and the Bees" when Bender had a son. It all reveals just how unique the robots from Futurama are and the impact they had on their world.

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Brandon Zachary (4234 Articles Published)

Brandon Zachary is an Associate Writer with Comic Book Resources and has written for CBR since 2018. He covers breakouts on comics, film, television, video games, and anime. He also conducts industry interviews, is a Rotten Tomatoes certified film critic, and knows SO MUCH about the X-Men. For requests, comments, or to hear his pitch for a third Avatar series that incorporates robots, you can contact him through [email protected].

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