Humanoid, mechanical men have been popular for centuries. Even in ancient tales and myths, there are stories of inanimate statues that come to life and act upon the orders of their living, human masters. In the 20th century, the literary realm of science fiction was popularized and the mechanical and electrical robots that we know and love today were born.
The most popular and famous robots, along with a few of their lesser known cousins, are now being chosen as tattoo designs. These tattoos represent artificial intelligence; the concept that man can create a semblance of life in a mechanical body that was once just a collection of nuts and bolts. Robot tattoos are also a symbol of humanity, because while robots are unnatural and were built rather than born, they have human characteristics, personalities and at times are depicted as displaying human emotions. Many stories of robots also hold these mechanized men to the highest standards of humanitarianism, in which robots must protect and serve humans even at the cost of their own well-being. Robots are rarely depicted as evil – generally it is only at the whim of a deranged human master that a robot is forced to perform evil acts. However, in many stories, people live in fear of their robot slaves. They are afraid that the more self-aware and human the robots become, the more likely they are to turn on their masters.
Among the most famous robots to be worn on skin are R2-D2 and C-3PO from the legendary Star Wars films, Wall-E from Pixar’s adorable childrens’ film and the intricately detailed alien robots from the Transformers series. But not all robot tattoos are portraits of recognizable robots; many are simply the designs of the client who wanted to wear an image of a personified machine.