Do you know Robby the robot?

Do you know Robby the robot?

Posted by Tinkerbots Team on

Forget about R2-D2 and Marvin the paranoid android from “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy”! The real robot legend is called Robby. Even though you have probably never heard of him it is pretty likely that you have seen a him on TV or on the silver screen. Robby the robot appeared in nearly 40 movies, TV shows and commercials from the 1950s until today.

A robot named Robby already appeared in pulp fiction from the 1930s and in Isaac Asimov’s short story of the same name in 1940. But Robby really became famous after the release of the science fiction film “Forbidden Planet” starring Walter Pidgeon and Leslie Nielsen in 1956. Today, the film is a real science fiction classic and even “Star Trek” creator Gene Roddenberry said “Forbidden Planet” was an inspiration for him. The film studio MGM which was producing the film spend $125.000 on building the robot, which was a lot of money at that time.

After the success of “Forbidden Planet” Robby the Robot appeared in many other productions, sometimes as an active part of the plot, sometimes only as a prop. Some of them are:

  • “The Invisible Boy” (1957)
  • “The Thin Man” (1958)
  • “The Twilight Zone” (three episodes, between 1959 and 1964)
  • “The Addams Family” (1966)
  • “The Man from U.N.C.L.E.” (two episodes in 1966)
  • “Lost in Space” (several episodes between 1966 and 1967)
  • “Columbo” (1974)
  • “Mork & Mindy” (1979)
  • “The Love Boat”
  • “Gremlins” (1984)
  • “Looney Tunes: Back in Action” (2003)
  • “The Big Bang Theory” (2014)
Of course, Robby was not a functional robot but a guy in a suite. This suite was bought by director William Malone and is now part of his private collection of memorabilia.

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