Buying the Real Steel Robots in 2011

November 2, 2011 in Editorial, Top

2011 film Real Steel takes place in a not so distant future where human boxers have faded away to be replaced by robotic brawlers. The most striking thing about the film is the technological sophistication of the mechanical fighters in a movie that is set just ten years into the future. Centives decided to find out how much the androids would cost in today’s dollars, and then figured out the equivalent car that you could buy for the same amount of money in the present.

Current expectations for the ten year annual inflation rate rest at around 1.4%. Centives will use this value to discount the prices depicted in the movie so as to control for inflation.

Noisy Boy is the LX-470

The film starts with Charlie (Hugh Jackman) purchasing the Japanese made “Noisy Boy” for $45,000. That comes out to $39,160 once adjusted for inflation. Noisy Boy is said to have been a contender for the 2016 World Robot Boxing (WRB) championship. Assuming that it was brand new when it fought in that championship, the machine is five years old when Charlies decides to acquire it.

The Lexus 2006 LX-470 is another Japanese made, five year old machine, that can be bought for around $40,000 today.

Atom is the Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren

Atom was built in 2014. Farra (Olga Fonda) offers to buy him for $200,000, and while the sale ultimately does not go through, it is the closest thing we have to an estimate of what Atom is worth in 2021. Adjusted for inflation, the seven year old robot is valued at $174,040.


Had the sale gone through, it would be the equivalent of Farra buying the 2005 Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren today.

Zeus is the Bloodhound SSC

We’re never told in the movie how much Zeus is worth, but according to a promotional Facebook page, it cost $30 million to develop the machine. Converted into 2011 dollars this means that about $26 million was sunk into the development of the robot.

Very few cars cost that much to develop, but the Bloodhound SSC, an unfinished experimental prototype that aims to break the land speed record, comes close.


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