NPR logo With Boxing Conquered, Ten Other Sports Robots Should Take Over Next


With Boxing Conquered, Ten Other Sports Robots Should Take Over Next

Ambush the robot is one of the combatants in Real Steel.

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Ambush the robot is one of the combatants in Real Steel.


Okay, Real Steel is only a movie. For now. But if robots can take over boxing in a movie, why shouldn't we have an entire franchise in which robots take over various sports in the future? If you like robots boxing, you'll love robots playing croquet! Well, maybe not croquet, but we have a few ideas for plots that, not to brag or anything, we think are pretty great. Movie studios, you are free to contact us here to negotiate for the rights.

Football. Robot football has fully taken over when, out of nowhere, Brett Favre un-retires at the age of 116 and joins the Boston Boltcutters. Shockingly, as scientists look on, the influence of Favre causes every robot on the team to grow a human heart and then immediately quit.

Figure skating. We call this one The Day Dick Button Got Really, Really Mad About The Lack Of Extension On That Layback Spin.

Golf. As it is with humans, this one ends in tragedy when time on the golf course is used to plot a takeover of the world.

Swimming. Voice-activated flippers, people. That's all you need to know.

Basketball. When a hard-up Illinois high-school team gets a new exchange student named "RXR-B315," everyone does their best to make him feel welcome. But while "Rexy" is a great shot and is the only person on the team who doesn't get flustered during free throws by opposing fans' attempts to distract him, he struggles with the concept of "trash talk." That is, until he meets Pete, a tortured 17-year-old soul with the mind of a poet, and anger of a tiger, and the body of Little Orphan Annie. Can the two work together to unite passion and muscle?

Horse racing. The most poignant part is where the horses become obsolete and it's just the humanoid robot sitting on top of the equinoid robot. Gradually, the humanoid robots are made smaller and lighter, until it's just the equinoid robots, at which point the sport changes its name to "robots running in circles." Says a crusty old trainer, "Things sure have changed around here."

Luge. Barriers to entry for this elite winter sport drop after steering becomes unnecessary and it becomes a downward-sloping robot-hurling contest.

Gymnastics. The floor exercise is a bit less artistically focused, but the vault is a LOT more exciting once the athletes begin launching themselves into the upper-deck seats.

Soccer. Weirdly, still ends 1-0 most of the time.

Ultimate fighting. What would ultimate fighting be for robots? Glad you asked. Rather than focusing on the brutality of the fighting, it focuses on the low-tech nature of the combatants. This is underground stuff. This is street fighting. Refrigerator on air conditioner. Refurbished Gateway tower versus small trash compactor. And the Rocky-like fight that ensues when the tiny Motorola Droid takes on the six-foot-tall stand-up Zaxxon machine.