Robby the Robot
In reality, Robby was the creation of Japanese designer/engineer Robert Kinoshita who also served as art director for the TV series Lost in Space. The robot was an elaborate metal shell, weighing 100 pounds and costing the then-astronomical sum of $125,000. Robby's various spinning and clicking gadgets were supplied by 2,600 feet of electrical wiring. His arms and legs were moved by a human operator inside. Actor Marvin Miller supplied Robby's deep voice.
As well as Forbidden Planet, Robby featured in the film The Invisible Boy (1957), a 1964 episode of The Twilight Zone ("The Brain Center At Whipples") and an episode of The Addams Family ("Lurch's Little Helper"). The Lost in Space episodes "War of the Robots" (#1.20) and "The Condemned Of Space" (#3.1) saw Robby team up with Lost in Space's robot regular, B-9. Robby also appeared in Gilligan's Island as a government test robot that accidentally parachuted onto the island, in the "Mind Over Mayhem" episode of Columbo, and in Mork & Mindy as an aging museum exhibit scheduled for the scrap heap which Mork accidentally bestows with human emotions.
Many of the features of B-9, the robot used in Lost in Space, parallel those of Robby. These include a glass head with animated elements, rotating antenna ears, flashing light mouth, and a chest panel with more animated elements.
Notes concerning isotope 217Robby the Robot is supposedly powered by "isotope 217". In reality, isotope 217 is a neutron-deficient isotope of uranium (217U), which can be produced by bombarding a 182W target with 40Ar ions and whose existence was first reported in 2000. Isotope 217 is also the name of Chicago-based post-rock/jazz whose first album was called "The Unstable Molecule".
Related category SCIENCE FICTION
Home • About • Copyright © The Worlds of David Darling • Encyclopedia of Alternative Energy • Contact