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Five robots we wish were real ... and five we're glad aren't

By Doug Gross, CNN
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • In National Robotics Week, we look at robots we wish were real and those we're glad aren't
  • Real robots are already used on battlefields, in space
  • Our love/hate relationship with robots dates back centuries
  • Robots from "Star Wars," "Battlestar Galactica," "The Jetsons" make our list
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(CNN) -- It's National Robotics Week, a time when students, scientists and others in the technology community celebrate the increasingly important role that real-world robots are playing in our lives.

Militaries use robots to attack enemies and destroy land mines. Private companies sell robots that let their users see, hear and talk remotely.

Just this week, NASA and General Motors announced that they'll work together to send a human-like robot to the international space station.

It's advances like those that spark the imagination. That makes us wonder: Could the robots who've entertained us in science fiction one day become a reality?

In most cases, the answer is, "Of course not."

Science likely won't ever give us a booze-swilling, cigar-smoking robot like Bender from "Futurama" or the alternately sexy, cunning and deadly androids of "Blade Runner."

But it's fun to imagine, right?

For centuries -- Leonardo da Vinci's notes show he was working on an automaton in 1495 -- we've had a love/hate relationship with robots.

We're both fascinated with all the good they could do and terrified of what would happen if they got too smart.

So, in the video graphic above, we take a look at five science-fiction robots we wish were real and five we're really glad are just make-believe.

Plenty more robots deserved a spot on this list. Let us know in the comments section which of our robot overlords ... er ... friends you would have included.