Description: As you might have surmised, the Annoying Robot Sidekick's (ARS) primary directive is to annoy the bejesus out of movie-goers with a grating array of inane quips, putrid puns, cheesy asides and assorted whirrs, blips and beeps. The ARS has the added benefit of saving the studio millions of dollars in having to hire an actual funny actor. Instead, the props department can hammer up something from spare parts to suffice as the comic, ahem, foil. Recently seen in: The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. Marvin the Paranoid Android (voiced by a lugubrious Alan Rickman, with Warwick Davis, an erstwhile Ewok, in the suit) is an anal-retentive robot who upstages the human actors in the long-awaited big screen adaptation of Douglas Adams' book and low-budget TV series. Marvin is less annoying than most of his cybernetic celluloid contemporaries because he's been infused with GPP (genuine people personalities) and suffers from chronic depression because of the menial chores he's saddled with. Because of his gloomy disposition, he loses virtual sleep worrying that he's making others around him miserable, as well. Defining moment: In a neat twist, the clunky original Marvin from the BBC series - a far cry from the slick new version, who looks like a big-headed Sony robot with bad posture - appears in a scene on the Vogon home planet. Most likely to say: 'I think you ought to know I'm feeling very depressed.' Classics of the genre: The sidekick-with-a-sidekick, C3PO and R2D2 from Star Wars, who get another outing in the final instalment of the saga, Star Wars Episode 3: Revenge of the Sith. As we all know, little Anakin Skywalker goes bad and turns to the dark side. Anoraks will be pleased to learn how it is that C3PO doesn't recognise his human owners in the original Star Wars (Episode 4). Is C3PO gay? The debate continues. 'Protocol? Why, it's my primary function, sir. I am well versed in all the customs.' Then there's Ian Holm as Ash in Alien, a creepy robot who resembles a human until he sides with the alien and then projectile vomits his milky blood everywhere. Some sci-fi fans swear by B9 from Lost in Space - the TV series, not the risible remake with Matt LeBlanc proving his lack of big screen chops - as the ultimate robot sidekick, with his glass bowl for a head and menacing, claw-tipped arms. 'Danger, Will Robinson', indeed. And how about Buck Rogers in the 25th Century? Lee Majors wannabe Gil Gerrard buckles around the galaxy without much swash, with two silly robot sidekicks, Dr Theopolis and Twiki, in tow (the latter, voiced by the renowned Mel Blanc of Loony Tunes fame, prefaced every statement with an annoying 'beedeebeedee beedee'). Ultimate Avatar: Hal 3000, from Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey. What could be more annoying in a robot sidekick than having it malfunction and turn psychotic, especially when it's in charge of your ship? It's the ultimate dystopian robot-run future. Who can forget the eerie scenes as Hal is disabled, warbling and groaning its way through Bicycle Built For Two? Not to be confused with: I Robot, Hayden Christensen.