Vulture

Skip to content, or skip to search.

face-offs

Droids vs. Cylons, Astro Boy vs. Wall-E: Two Scientists Handicap Vulture’s Ultimate Robot Boxing Bracket

In Real Steel, out Friday, the sport of boxing has been taken over by robots. Boxing robots! This is an inspired idea — like the The Fighter, but with Rosie the Maid. In fact, it made us wonder, what if Rosie the Maid were a boxer? What if all our favorite fictional robots jumped into the ring? Who would win? To answer this very pressing robot sports question, Vulture put together the Ultimate Robot Boxing Tournament bracket, then asked two robot experts — Professor Howie Choset and postdoctoral researcher Ross Hatton of the Robotics Institute at Carnegie Mellon University — to pick the winners. A few ground rules: The face-offs are one-on-one, meaning that robots who usually fight in groups (like the Star Wars Battle Droids) were considered on the basis of their individual abilities. Also, all robot powers (i.e., lasers, flying) were allowed. Herewith, the dramatic round-by-round breakdown.