I’ll bet nearly every kid who grew up to be an engineer loved robots. I’m 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, I’m 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.
Here’s 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)
Elizabeth, Dr. Who is certainly one of the much more creative shows, and a welcome departure from most "formula" entertainments.
And there are all sorts of robots-things, which clearly point out a number of serious things that could logicly develop if robotic development is not done responsibly. The whole idea of a self-aware robot is an example of what could lead to a real set of disasters. Conside the "4D's" of robot uses, and what would happen if a robot decided that something was too dangerous for it. Or even if it was just too dirty? Just one example of why caution should be used in development projects.
@GTO, I cant claim to be in touch with the robot movies from the 50's and 60's (that's a little too early for me) but I was fortunate enough to lay my hands on the Star Trek original series and can still remember those lovely robot women Mudd had. Pretty creative and very artistic they were too!
Wow, Ralphy Boy, your daughter's wedding sounds really creative. I found when I was doing my research for the Dr. Who article I wrote that it's true, there are still a lot of fans for this classic TV show. I met a guy who hosts an Internet radio show just about Dr. Who. I personally was not a fan and never really saw the show but clearly it won over lots of viewers.
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.
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