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Last Updated: Wednesday May 18 2005 16:21 GMT

Robots in films

C3P0 and R2D2

I, Robot

, starring Will Smith, went to the top of the US box office in 2004.

The film, inspired by author Isaac Asimov, involves a detective in 2035 who suspects a robot has committed murder - despite assurances it is impossible for them to hurt humans.

In Steven Spielberg's AI: Artificial Intelligence (2002) the story is about sensitive robots being abused by brutal, selfish human masters.

And George Lucas made robots mans' best friends in Star Wars (1977) with C-3PO and R2-D2.

HAL, the supercomputer that rebels against its human handlers in the film 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), is a cheeky reference to the computer firm IBM. The letters H, A and L, precede I, B and M in the alphabet.