Before the combat armament, before a nefarious scientist's bid world domination, and before the introduction of the Industrial Robots, there were the Household Helper Robots. Named Rock and Roll, these two little robots were modeled after human children of the approximate age of 10 years to handle and assist in domestic tasks. Rockman's story narrative rests it's center on this fact. But if the goal was to accomplish household chores and duties, why would anyone build mechanical children?
very far removed from human
If you look at today's real world modern household robots, they are streamlined machines built to accomplish tasks in the most efficient means possible. No extraneous input receivers, extravagant processing or pointless decorative output. Just modular mechanical actuators providing the bare minimal movement necessary to carry out a job, and the most straight forward of probability algorithms for determining how to do it. But Rock and Roll are on the far opposite end of the spectrum of that.
Going over all the official reference books, a reason is never explicitly given for the excessively human adolescent forms. All that is ever said is that Rock and Roll were "just" brought to life one day and spent their days with their creator, Dr. Thomas Right. While that would end the curious issue for some, it has left space for fans of the Rockman narrative room to speculate. After all, even in fiction, nothing happens "just cause".
Merely Replacement Goldfish?
A popular theory I've seen floating around is that Rock and Roll are "Replacement Goldfish
", individuals who are used to assume the emotional place of a lost loved one. Relaying this back to the cause for mechanical children being built, Dr. Right would have (in theory) at one time had children, but they met some sort of unfortunate untimely demise . So in mad scientist fashion, he created robotic facsimiles of them as a outlet for his desire to bring them "back to life" and restore his life to the way it was before their passing.
As a literary trope in Science Fiction, "Replacement Goldfish" is a popular driving force for all sorts of humanistic creations. Most notably for this discussion, Tetsuwan Atom
, a critical character inspiration to Rockman, credits Atom's original purpose to serve as his creator's own Replacement Goldfish. As the story goes, as Head of the Ministry of Science, Dr. Tenma commissions his lab to build a super robot in the likeness of his deceased son Tobio. The super robot abilities were so that the prodigy could never be taken away from him by a mere accident, like the way a vehicular accident had taken the life of Tobio.
Also worth mentioning, the Rockman Franchise
does already have a couple Replacement Goldfish among it's ranks. Having the biggest impact here, Battle Network
's own Rockman.EXE could very well be classified as a sort of Replacement Goldfish. Those who familiar with the narrative will recall that Rockman.EXE programing stems from the DNA of Dr. Hikari's dead son, Netto's twin brother Saito. (as hair-brained a concept as that actually is,..)
But these don't really give much solid footing in terms of codifying an answer for "why mechanical children?" to Rock and Roll. As convincing as those examples may sound, they are rather tangential. What is important for this theory to hold weight unfortunately is something hard to just wedge in. The elaborate family man back-story and sad tragic deaths, have never been remotely hinted at. If they were central motivations to Dr. Right's work, it would seem truly unlikely that these facts would be glossed over.
Also working against it, "Replacement Goldfish" as a theory carries a very ugly side.
It transforms Dr. Right into a broken man chasing the past in mad scientist fashion, and the goal of his life's work is a self-adsorbed fictionalization of his daily life. Not a pretty picture for the Rockman Series' fatherly backbone character. And it completely throws out the canonical established picture of Dr. Right as a visionary working towards a brighter future for the world.