Tag group clean up: Technology / Sci-fi / Robots

Posted under General

As a sci-fi fan and a technology nut, the state of the cyborg tag makes me sad. All the tags for technology, robots, jets, cars and general cool glowing stuff are in a mess with hundreds of relevant images undertagged and obscure tags like robot arm (which I've already cleaned up) floating about.

So I've decided to sort everything out, starting by creating a Tag Group:Technology wiki page to gather every relevant tag I can find in one place. I can't imagine anyone will object, so I'll get started right away. Any help gathering stray tags and wikis I've missed or come up with themes that need tagging will be much appreciated.

I also think military and fantasy need similar clean-ups/tag group pages.

Edit: Whoops. Already messed up and used tag group: technology rather than tag group:technology (note the space). Could an admin delete the first attempt please.

Updated by anon153

I remember a discussion on deviantArt ages ago that explained that there were 3 levels of mecha/power suit.

  • Full-sized mecha. Big as a car/house/skyscraper, piloted from a cockpit like a jet fighter and essentially an anthropomorphic tank or construction vehicle. Gundam, Gurren-Laggan, super robots, etc.
  • In between. You don't quite wear it, but you still attach it to your limbs. You don't quite pilot it, but you still "strap yourself in". Essentially a small mech without a sealed cockpit. Your fingers use controls that control the hands, but you still walk it with your legs. You'll also likely wear regular clothes whilst using it. The white mech from Dexter's lab and the SCVs from starcraft (post #660731) go here. SC2 marines are a borderline case. post #741408
  • Power suits. Wear them like clothing or armor. Gordon Freeman from Half-life and the pilot suits from Evangelion fit here.

Do we have a tag for the 2nd group? If not, is anyone aware of a standard/common term?

Edit: A friend has suggested "mech, mech suit, power suit/armor".


OK, the original SCV is a bad example, but post #535416 and post #660731 are good examples. Kind've like how a motorbike/quadbike is middle ground between a pushbike/rollerskates and a car/jeep.

You ride a pushbike and a motorbike but you drive a car, yet both the car and the motorbike have an engine. You use your whole body to control a power suit and a mech suit, whilst in a mecha (or a car), you just need to make sure you don't fall out of the seat; the hands and feet do all of the control.

Another friend simply called them mechs too, but there's clearly a difference and I want to tag/search it.


I suppose characters wearing things that look like striker units can be dealt with when that arrives.

Seeing as exoskeleton has no wiki page, only 6 posts and already has a few examples of what I was thinking of, I'll use it to tag the "mech suits" I discussed earlier.

Edit: Does a mecha have to have an on-board pilot? I would say yes, but then I'd also call the mobile dolls from Gundam Wing mechas, even though they were controlled by on-board AI.


Serlo said:
Edit: Does a mecha have to have an on-board pilot? I would say yes, but then I'd also call the mobile dolls from Gundam Wing mechas, even though they were controlled by on-board AI.

No. They just have to be large robots. Because the pilot isn't typically visible in the image, there's no way to tell what's piloting the mecha, human or otherwise.

Today has made me realise just how unbelievably vague the term "robot" actually is.

It's nearly impossible to categorise, partly because "autonomy" is a grey scale with few well-defined levels (self-aware, conscious, independent, fully automatic, controlled through orders, piloted/wielded), all of which can apply to a robot; and partly because robots can be made of out anything and follow any design to meet these levels: Electronic, plastic, mechanical, metal, heck even wood and magic....

Edit: In fact just about the only thing we can agree to say about them is: They're not humans, animals or plants; they're different from computers and cyborgs; they can be purely mechanical, electrical or virtual (IRC bots, etc), but not purely anything else like organic, magic or spiritual. Even their artificial nature can be questioned. So it seem that outside all that, almost anything more complex than drill can be called a robot.


Serlo said:
Even their artificial nature can be questioned. So it seem that outside all that, almost anything more complex than drill can be called a robot.

I think you are making this much broader than the term actually applies to. Something like a hand tool or appliance pretty obviously doesn't fit the term "robot".

Looking at the dictionary definition for "robot", there are two separate definitions that work for our purposes:

1: a machine that resembles a human and does mechanical, routine tasks on command.

3: any machine or mechanical device that operates automatically with humanlike skill.

The first works for mecha and androids that may or may not be automatic, but are humanoid and do tasks on command.

The second works for basically any form and any composition of unmanned robot (virtual bots would need to be projected into a virtual space; IRC bots are metaphorical and wouldn't be tagged as such here). There needs to be some degree of aromaticity and independence from an operator to qualify here.

A drill is not a robot, a mobile platform that can drill on its own is.

As for the previous discussion, I think the three levels proposed (mecha, exosuit, power armor) are more or less appropriate. However, I wouldn't classify a plugsuit as power armor (it's more of a wearable technology or e-textile used as a sensor system than anything that would augment the user's abilities).

I also have a hard time considering power armor (like the HEV suit from Half-Life) as a robot on its own. It fails the first definition since it looks like clothing rather than a human, and it fails the second because it has no degree of automaticity). I would classify a striker unit as the same type of device (though probably not the same tag) as a power suit.


I would like to clean up the current definitions of android and robot. From their current wiki pages:

By rule of thumb, androids should look at least 80% human, usually having something resembling skin (though it needn't be skin-colored) and fully human faces.

Images tagged robot are usually those machines that are not designed to appear human (although there is not currently a consensus on if the tag should be used like this).

I would like the robot tag to be used only for mostly non-humanoid robots and either the android tag to include vaguely human-shaped robots or use an "anthropomorphic robot" tag, which android would be implicated to.

Edit: Forget the replicant suggestion.


I'm also creating a new tag: Construct for humanoid-like creations like Frankenstein's monster and the creature in pool #4645: Hey Hey, (Oikawa Uso)

Edit: And Clank for humanoid steam-powered robots. I took these terms from girlgenius.com so obviously the names are up for discussion.

As well, there seems to be one deleted/loli/shota image under ratchet_&_clank that tags the character Clank. Could someone change that to clank_(character) or clank_(ratchet_&_clank) please.


For describing body parts, we have mechanical, robot, robotic and cybernetic floating about.

For limbs, I could argue there's a subtle difference between robotic, mechanical and cybernetic, but in practice they're all used to tag the same things. I'd like to alias them all to robotic_* (singular)

I use robotic because cybernetic implies cyborg and mechanical does not imply moving parts (I think of a simple litter-grabber when I hear mechanical_arm). I'm not sure what to do with cybernetic, mechanical, robotic and mechanical_parts yet. I'm also not too sure about aliasing:

  • mechanical_broom - only 1 post, just not sure what else to tag it as
  • mechanical_wings -> robotic_wing - unlike limbs, mechanical_wings often tags purely structural wings with no robotic/moving parts or even symbolic wings, not large cybernetic wings. I think the tag needs splitting
  • robot_joints -> robotic_joints - might want to be consistent with doll_joints. robotic_joints sounds a little off otherwise
  • robot_ears usually tags little headphone-like antennae sticking out of the ears to indicate a robot, not cybernetic ear-replacements. there might be some merit in labelling delicate parts "cybernetic"


I think I know what to do with the mechanical robotic and cybernetic adjectives on danbooru.

  • Mechanical: Only uses mechanical forces (structural components, levers, clockwork, engines, pneumatics)
  • Robotic: Is powered by some invisible (or glowing) force like electricity. Usually has or is a moving part.
  • Cybernetic: Delicate and detailed robotic components that don't generally involve moving and mechanical forces (sensors, chips, etc).
    • Clockwork is the mechanical equivalent of cybernetic

post #847162 would be mechanical because we can't see any moving parts other than the jet engines, which are mechanical engines.

Now that the hardware tag names have been pretty much resolved, I've cleaned up the unsorted tags a bit. I deleted the duplicates and categorized some of them. My suggestions are beside most of the remainder of the tags.

Some ideas for handling the unsorted tags would be:

  • The tag group:sciences for those that have many scientific characteristics
  • Extra subheaders, such as a See Also subheader for technology-related characters, such as named robots and named mecha musume, and an Alien Technology subheader for technology that clearly belongs to alien races.
  • An Object Characteristics tag group for tags such as glowing, heavy, broken, and neon-trim
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