Despite decades of technological leaps in computing, robots have yet to play much of a role in our lives outside of factory work.

Perhaps that's why most attempts to create humanoid or otherwise lifelike robots come off as creepy and weird. We're happy to stare at computer screens all day, but as soon as the machine starts to look and act like one of us, scenes from The Terminator and The Matrix spring to mind. Here are 20 creepy, real robots that are sure to give you the heebie-jeebies.

Child-robot with biometric body (CB2)

Even creepier than CB2's sad eyes, expressionless mouth and colorless skin, is its purpose. By recording and processing information from the outside world, this android tries to learn as a child does. You would think the scientists at Osaka University would at least throw some pants and a shirt over this twitching little terror.

See the 'bionic boy' in action.

Photo: AFP/Yoshikazu Tsuno


Boston Dynamics' BigDog reminds me of those cheap animal costumes from pantomimes, in which two people walk around with only their legs exposed. Since it's a military supply robot, BigDog's creepy buzzing could be a welcome noise to soldiers in need of equipment, but I'm hoping they'll replace that sound with the graduation march from Stripes before the robot is field-ready.

See the BigDog robot in action.

Photo: Boston Dynamics


Giles Walker's 'Peepshow' exhibit is an artistic statement, a commentary on how we humans are the ones being watched by an increasing number of CCTV Peeping Toms. But any attempt at deep reflection is ruined by the horrifying sight of robotic pole dancers with cameras for heads.

See these robots do their thing.

Photo: Giles Walker

Multiple Kill Vehicle-L

The Multiple Kill Vehicle-L hovers in the air, shoots everyone, and then falls to the ground. I'm pretty sure I've fought a few of these things in video games through the years, but the idea of a real-life flying death bot doesn't sit well. I like how Lockheed Martin's press release refers to the MKV-L's targets as 'threat objects', which I'm sure is a euphemism for the Taliban and space monsters.

See this killing machine in action.

Photo: Lockheed Martin

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