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)
Nice slideshow Rob. The vision of the movie makers of the 50s and 60s is admirable, as the technology at that time had not been this superior to think of something like that. The robots of today's movies are even more advanced as now we have great animations, looking forward to the list of today's movie robots.
Rob, some of these are indeed scarry. The Daleks especially. One thing, though. They actually had organic creatures in them. They are genetically modified and placed in the "shell". Their only goal is to "exterminate".
As for HAL, I wil always remember his last line. "Will I dream?"
I never knew the HAL9000 was a parody of IBM!It makes me think of the scene in "Pirates of Silicon Valley" where Steve Jobs motions privately that Bill Gates may be just as big a monster as Big Blue, IBM.
Believe it or not, I think Rocky had a robot in Rocky IV, where he fought the menacing Russian, Ivan Drago. The movie was supposed to have a theme of technology vs. the human spirit, which was pretty lame.
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Good engineering designs are those that work in the real world; bad designs are those that donít. If we agree to set our egos aside and let the real world be our guide, we can resolve nearly any disagreement.
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