Released by Nintendo as an accessory/peripheral for the original NES, the R.O.B., or Robot Operating Buddy, was a short-lived addition to Nintendo's growing home console library in the mid-1980's, and was instrumental in marketing the N.E.S as an "Entertainment System" rather than a video game console.
Only compatible with two games, Gyromite and Stack-Up, R.O.B. was originally a unique and attention-grabbing selling point, but was later mostly forgotten. Interestingly, and proving that nothing in the gaming world is ever truly forgotten, R.O.B. has begun popping up of late, making cameo appearances in many present-day Nintendo first-party franchises.
First appearing in 1985, R.O.B. bares a striking resemblance to later robot movie characters such as Johnny 5 and WALL-E.
In Mario Kart DS
R.O.B. appears in Mario Kart DS as an unlockable character. He is one of the few characters in the Mario Kart series that did not originate from a Mario game.
In Super Smash Bros. Brawl
R.O.B. is an unlockable character in the crossover fighting game Super Smash Bros. Brawl.
In the Subspace Emissary adventure mode R.O.B. first appears as the Ancient Minister, the mysterious leader of the Subspace Army. When the Ancient Minister refuses to sacrifice any more R.O.B.s, Ganondorf orders the R.O.B. Squad to attack him. His Ancient Minister disguise is destroyed, revealing his true identity as a R.O.B. He then joins the protagonists on their mission to defeat Subspace.