|First appearance||"A Clockwork Origin" (6ACV09)|
The Nanobots were a model of Robots created by Professor Hubert J. Farnsworth that inhabited the Robo-Planetoid during August of 3010. They were not visible to the naked eye, as they were extremely small, and resembled little army tanks. Farnsworth created them as a method of purifying water. Following their programming, the Nanobots cleaned the water by eating the toxic minerals. However, before the crew could leave, the self-replicating Robots had turned into Trilobots.
Creation and Evolution
After digging in the Olduvai Gorge all day, the Professor discovered Homo farnsworth, a missing link between apes and the Darwinius massilae he needed to prove Dr. Banjo wrong about Evolutionism. Hubert then went to the World Bone Premiere, so he could present his latest finding. But, instead of being logical, those ignorant museum members viewed the bones of Homo farnsworth as proof to Creationism. Angry, the Professor wished he didn’t live on Earth, and moved to an asteroid in deep space that would become known as the Robo-Planetoid.
This asteroid was completely lifeless. There was no food to eat, and no water to drink. Somehow, Farnsworth must have foreseen this, as he took some robotic bugs he created with him, together with dehydrated food pills. Needing a fresh source of water, Farnsworth poured the Nanobots into a polluted pond, nearby. The Nanobots broke down the toxic minerals, which gave them them the materials necessary to replicate and form a new type of Robots that lived on land.
- The evolution of nanomachines may have been inspired by prior science fiction:
- In the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode Evolution (1989), Wesley Crusher creates Nanobots called “nanites” which unexpectedly evolve to the point of sentience. Initially, an astrophysicist on board expresses skepticism concerning the possibility for machines to evolve.
- In the 2002 novel Prey by Michael Crichton, Nanobots evolve to other organisms in a short time. Whenever humans attempt to attack them, the robots have already evolved.
- The pond where the Nanobots first evolved is a reference to the primordial ooze all earth life is believed to have arisen from.
The Professor: I must say I'm so proud to see what you blossomed into since I first created your ancestors.
Dr. Widnar: What?!
The Professor: I thought you knew.