Opposite of super robots, real robot is a sub-genre of mecha anime in which the robots within the series are more grounded with real-world applications of physics and technology in mind.
Created as an off-shoot of the super robot genre, real robot is a sub-genre of mecha anime that factors in real-world applications of the mecha made in regards to technology, practicality and physics. Whereas super robot anime are made with grand-scale stories, fantastical powers and monster of the day plots in mind, real robot anime is more scaled into reality with mecha being utilized as weapons of war by military organizations, having limitations to their capabilities and having production numbers used to designate their development stage and model. The mecha would require regular maintenance and have limited supplies of ammo and energy that the pilot would have to factor when utilizing it for combat, as well as trying to minimize damage within heavily populated areas where civilians dwell.
Mobile Suit Gundam and Macross are known among anime fans as the earliest major applications of the real robot genre and among the most popular within the medium of anime. Despite the applications of real robot and super robot for the mecha genre though, it can be difficult to classify which specific sub-genre would fit into some mecha anime titles as they will incorporate story elements and concepts of both real and super robot sub-genres, the most famous case being Gainax's hit series Neon Genesis Evangelion.