Roboto is a fictional character in the popular Masters of the Universe franchise.
As a member of the Heroic Warriors, Roboto is notable for being the only fully mechanical warrior in their ranks. His metal body makes him invulnerable to pain and able to resist many attacks that would leave an ordinary warrior injured. His computer brain also renders him highly intelligent. He has a transparent body, through which his inner working gears can be seen, and his right hand is a mechanical claw, which can be replaced with an axe or laser gun.
Roboto was introduced into the Masters of the Universe toy line in 1985. His first appearance is in the Mattel mini-comic "The Battle of Roboto", in which he is built by Man-At-Arms, who gives him a cybernetically-enhanced heart, which enables him to feel human emotions and interact with his comrades as a human rather than as a machine. He was an exceptionally brave fighter, even to the point of taking on Hordak in single combat in one issue.
Given that the accompanying cartoon series was drawing to a close at the time his action figure was released, Roboto only makes one appearance in the cartoon, but unlike most other figures released at this time, Roboto was lucky enough to get a whole episode written around him. This episode, "Happy Birthday Roboto" features a radically different origin story for him, in which he was a space explorer from the alien world of Robotica, who crash-landed on Eternia. Initially wrecked by the crash, he was repaired and restored by Man-At-Arms.
- The animation model of Roboto, based on the action figure by Mattel, was developed by character designer Harry Sabin.
2002 seriesRoboto features in the relaunch of the Masters of the Universe toy line and cartoon series in 2002. In the new cartoon, he is introduced in the episode "Roboto's Gambit", in which he is built by Man-At-Arms as a simple chess-playing robot. Desiring to apply his chess skills to the real battle around him, he upgrades himself to a warrior robot and effectively transfers his skills into the Masters' combat.
However, Teela refuses to let him join the fighting forces since he is not specifically designed for battle. However, during the prevailing incident of battling an army of small bone monsters controlled by Tri-Klops, which doubles its numbers every time it is destroyed, it is Roboto's analysis that determines the only way to defeat it is to attack Tri-Klops directly. To do so, Roboto advises He-Man of his idea and uses himself as a self-sacrifice to draw the enemy's attention to allow the superhero to approach his target. While He-Man is successful, Roboto is overwhelmed and seemingly destroyed before the enemy can be neutralized. Teela mourns his destruction and berates herself for not appreciating his courage and skills when offered. However, to her relief, her father then announces that she will have that opportunity as he presents the fully repaired Roboto who is ready to assume the duties Teela gladly offers. Subsequent episodes see him serving as the Masters' combat analyst.
A notable point about Roboto in the new series is that his portrayal, as well as his voice, seem to differ between episodes. Although portrayed as strong and confident in his debut appearance, subsequent appearances in "The Sweet Smell of Victory" and "Separation" show him as lacking in confidence, while his understanding of the human world around him often comes across as amusingly simple rather than intelligent. He is also given a lighter, softly-spoken voice in these episodes, which some fans have compared to Michael Jackson. However, most episodes in season 2 restore him to his original personality and voice.
The 2002 version of Roboto is similar to the original 1980s release. It features armor to fit over his clear torso, something that the original figure lacked. Also, the 2002 version only has a claw and laser gun, the axe that came with the 1980s original is also missing.