Iíll bet nearly every kid who grew up to be an engineer loved robots. Iím not sure what the magic was, but soon after I fell in love with dinosaurs, I developed a new love: robots. Some were scary, like the deadly ray-shooting robot in The Day the Earth Stood Still. Others were lovable, like Robbie the Robot in Forbidden Planet. Some were terrifying. HAL from 2001: A Space Odyssey was nightmarish with its calm, patronizing tone. To this day, Iím a sucker for both dinosaurs and robots. While I now watch most movies at home, there is one feature that will pull me to the big screen -- a great robot.
Hereís a look at robots depicted in movies and on TV during the 1950s and 1960s. We tried to collect the classics here, omitting the scores of forgettable B movies such as Santa Claus Conquers the Martians and Dr. Goldfoot and the Bikini Machine. Stay tuned for slideshows of robot stars from later decades.
Click on the robot below to start the slideshow.
1965: Doctor Who and the Daleks. The Daleks appear on the long-running British TV show, Dr. Who. These automated pod monsters are from Skaro, a planet scarred by an ancient nuclear war. Dr. Who visits the planet to free its citizens from these metallic-voiced robots who are out to exterminate organic creatures. (Source: themindrobber.co.uk)
Mr. Spiegel I enjoyed the article on 1950s and 60s robots.
My 16 year old son son builds Daleks and takes them to the sci-fi conventions. He takes the motors and control electronics out of power assist chairs and uses them to drive the Dalek. If any of your readers want to see, he has a facebook page showing him building them. http://www.facebook.com/DerekTheRedDalek.
As a dad you understand I am quite proud of a kid who has the skills and personal drive to build and operate six foot tall robots [and I have learned to give the kid his space & not to supervise him too physically close after a nasty encounter with his pneumatic nail gun and an 18 gage wire nail through the thumb].
My daughter got married last fall and she had a Doctor Who themed wedding. I built a Tardis Police-Box Photo Booth using 3 hollow core doors and her iPad/w a printer. She made a K9 Envelope/Card box, a full scale facsimile of the robo-dog from the show... and a boat load of other decorations that were show specific. Including the watchpart carnations for the guys and the time traveler bouquets for the girls. That show is huge with some people right now.
I also have a small Kronos Conqueror of the Universe poster on the wall in my office here at work... In honor of the time keeping system we use "Kronos". I've read that it's the biggest most used employee tracking system in the world Universe.
This is a fun slideshow, but while you mention Dr. Who, what about K-9?? I actually wrote a whole article about this robot for another publication last year on the anniversary of the show. K-9 was so popular, he got his own spinoff!
I guess that I missed the parody of IBM in 2001. But it was a rude awakening about the way the highpitched shills screamed that it was a great movie. It was one of the biggest wastes of money and time as far as movies go. Still, I would call 2001 JUNK. Even despite having an actual plot.
I really enjoyed the slides about these movie type robots. I can remember as a kid, I wanted a Robot from the TV show Lost and Space. When I received an erector set for Christmas, I immediately tried to build it. Very nice slide deck and thank you for the found memories!
Some of our culture's most enduring robots appeared in the 80s. The Aliens series produced another evil android, and we saw light robot fare in the form of Short Circuit. Two of the great robots of all time also showed up: The Terminator and RoboCop.
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