In the near future, crime is patrolled by a mechanized police force. When one police droid, Chappie, is stolen and given new programming, he becomes the first robot with the ability to think and feel for himself.
In Johannesburg, the police department reduced the high rating of criminality using robots from the Tetravaal Company, designed by the engineer Deon Wilson. The former military Vincent Moore is envious of Deon, since he has developed another project called Moose, but neither Tetravaal nor the police department is interested. Deon has just developed an Artificial Intelligence but the Tetravaal’s CEO Michelle Bradley asks him to abort the project. Deon decides to bring the damaged Robot 22 that was sent to be crushed to test his A.I. However he is kidnapped by the criminals Ninja, Yo-Landi and Amerika that want him to stop the robot cops. When they see the damaged robot in the van, they force Deon to program it to heist banks with them and they call it Chappie. However, Chappie acts like a child and need to be trained to learn and grow. Meanwhile Vincent follows Deon and plots an evil scheme to activate his robot.