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Great Film & TV Robots From the 50s & 60s

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Daniyal_Ali
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Amazing Robots.
Daniyal_Ali   7/17/2014 9:25:09 AM
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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.

naperlou
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Re: Amazing Robots.
naperlou   7/17/2014 11:54:00 AM
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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?"

tekochip
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Re: Amazing Robots.
tekochip   7/17/2014 1:08:41 PM
Thanks for including Rosie, that made me laugh.

 

If we inch into the Seventies I would put a bid in for Huey Dewey and Louie from "Silent Running".  I think it's also the only movie where Bruce Dern played a hero.

Cabe Atwell
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Re: Amazing Robots.
Cabe Atwell   7/17/2014 3:26:19 PM
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This era was packed with bubble-bots it seemed. Or, just a clever way to hide the human inside?

 

tekochip
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Re: Amazing Robots.
tekochip   7/17/2014 3:51:58 PM
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That's why I liked "Silent Running".  As a kid I couldn't figure out how they did the `bots, until I saw a show on the production.

GTOlover
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Re: Amazing Robots.
GTOlover   7/18/2014 9:20:07 AM
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Hide the human inside, good one. I remember watching many of these shows and it never occurred to me that the special effects were very bad. Now I see some of these old shows and can actually pick out the seams and the fasteners holding the costume onto the actor inside.

fredsay
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Re: Amazing Robots.
fredsay   7/18/2014 9:12:04 AM
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"I can't do that, Dave"

jhankwitz
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Re: Amazing Robots.
jhankwitz   7/18/2014 2:47:09 PM
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Klaatu Barada Nikto

GTOlover
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Re: Amazing Robots.
GTOlover   7/18/2014 3:23:44 PM
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What about the beautiful robot women that Mr. Mudd had in the Star Trek original series, "I,Mudd" There was a whole planet full of these robots!

 

Rob Spiegel
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Re: Amazing Robots.
Rob Spiegel   7/17/2014 4:04:05 PM
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One of the things that's interesting as we move out of the 50s and 60s is that films that include robots move from B movies to top movies. So the robots become more sophisticated.

JimT@Future-Product-Innovations
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Forbidden's Robby, & Lost in Space
JimT@Future-Product-Innovations   7/17/2014 6:32:14 PM
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Fun Slideshow, Rob, thanks. Funny I never noticed the similarity between Robby in Forbidden Planet and "The Robot" in Lost in Space.  Clearly a derivative copy, as you mentioned.  Warning, Will Robinson!

Rob Spiegel
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Re: Forbidden's Robby, & Lost in Space
Rob Spiegel   7/18/2014 8:48:20 AM
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Yes, JimT, Lost in Space was criticized for the Robby rip-off. 

cadcoke5
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Re: Forbidden's Robby, & Lost in Space
cadcoke5   7/22/2014 1:48:33 AM
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Robby the robot made an appearance on Lost in Space as an evil robot in the episode, "War of the Robots".

-Joe



Rob Spiegel
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Re: Forbidden's Robby, & Lost in Space
Rob Spiegel   7/22/2014 8:35:35 AM
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Wow. What a great piece of trivia, Joe.

g-whiz
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Re: Forbidden's Robby, & Lost in Space
g-whiz   7/18/2014 12:06:59 PM
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As an adolescent male watching Lost in Space, I was much more interested in Penny than the robot but I remember reading somewhere that the "torso" of "robot was the tub from a top loading washing machine. Anyone else hear that?

JimT@Future-Product-Innovations
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Re: Forbidden's Robby, & Lost in Space
JimT@Future-Product-Innovations   7/18/2014 2:24:43 PM
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No, but I'm right there with you, on Penny.

JimT@Future-Product-Innovations
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IBM as the villain
JimT@Future-Product-Innovations   7/17/2014 6:42:50 PM
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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.

Rob Spiegel
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Re: IBM as the villain
Rob Spiegel   7/18/2014 10:17:14 AM
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Yes, that was a great scene, Jim. Certainly an enjoyable movie. The initials in HAP being one letter away (for each letter) is a clever giveaway on the IBM parody. 

BrainiacV
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Re: IBM as the villain
BrainiacV   7/18/2014 2:20:30 PM
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Actually Arthur C. Clarke always maintained that the HAL/IBM comparison was just a coincidence. HAL was supposed to be for Heuristically programmed ALgorithmic computer.

Charles Murray
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Rocky IV
Charles Murray   7/17/2014 7:24:48 PM
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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.  

Rob Spiegel
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Re: Rocky IV
Rob Spiegel   7/18/2014 10:18:49 AM
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Correct Chuck. That Rocky film will get referenced as we move through the deecades of robots.

hrosenbloom
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HAL Is Not IBM
hrosenbloom   7/18/2014 9:07:57 AM
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Arthur C. Clark has said on multiple occaisions that this urban legend is not true. That its intent was to be the acronym for Heuristic ALgorithmic. In fact, he said that if he and Stanley Kubrick had realized this before they would have changed the name (glad he didn't).

 

Reference per Wikipedia: Dr. David G. Stork. "Dawn of HAL: History of Artificial Intelligence - Dr. Arthur C. Clarke Interview"2001: HAL's Legacy Web site. PBS. Retrieved 2007-05-10 & "What do the letters HAL stand for and is there a connection with IBM?"The Kubrick FAQ. Retrieved 2007-05-12.

Rob Spiegel
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Re: HAL Is Not IBM
Rob Spiegel   7/18/2014 10:20:33 AM
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Wow, Hrosenbloom. Big news. Interesting coincidence with the HAL initials.

Battar
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Re: HAL Is Not IBM
Battar   7/18/2014 3:24:02 PM
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How about Windows NT being one letter shift from VAX/VMS? Is that also a coincidence?

Charles Murray
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Re: HAL Is Not IBM
Charles Murray   7/18/2014 4:10:05 PM
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Interesting point about Arthur C. Clarke. I have to admit that I bought the IBM/HAL story, too. It just seemed so believable.

hrosenbloom
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Re: HAL Is Not IBM
hrosenbloom   7/18/2014 4:24:53 PM
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I once saw/heard an interview with Arthur C. Clark where he made this comment, I do not know if it was the one I referenced. However, it's been so long that I would hate to try and quote it.

But I too had heard this same HAL/IBM for so long that I believed it until I heard the interview. I also read it again not too long ago.

William K.
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Re: HAL Is Not IBM
William K.   7/20/2014 8:35:00 PM
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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.

ramjet@metrocast.net
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Re: HAL Is Not IBM
ramjet@metrocast.net   7/28/2014 9:46:29 AM
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I feel bad for you.

You cannot see that this was the first Movie to use a real Space effects.

I was amazed and enthralled by it's wonder.

Sure, the grapic effects were not great, look at when it was made.

For me, It's probably the best movie version of a Science Fiction book ever done.

kamikubv
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Gog and Maygog
kamikubv   7/18/2014 10:36:28 AM
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You forgot the movie Gog (1954), with robots Gog and Maygog, which wreak havoc on scientists in a government facility (building a space station) in New Mexico. They were controlled by a supercomputer (NOVAC). I remember watching this on a b&w TV and being mesmerized!

Rob Spiegel
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Re: Gog and Maygog
Rob Spiegel   7/18/2014 10:42:22 AM
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Good catch, Kamikubv. I skipped a few of the more obscure movies during these two decades. there were a number of low-budget films made in the US ande Japan during this time. Interestingly, Gog was 3D, one of the few of that era.

Charles Murray
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1970s-West World
Charles Murray   7/18/2014 4:05:12 PM
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Here's one for your '70s slideshow, Rob...Westworld was a movie based on a Michael Crichton script about a Western-themed amusement park where a malfunctioning robot takes over. According to various Internet sites (which we know are always accurate) it's being remade. The original starred Yul Brynner.

Rob Spiegel
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Re: 1970s-West World
Rob Spiegel   7/18/2014 5:14:37 PM
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Yes, I remember Westworld, Chuck. If i'm not mistaken, it was Yul Brynner's final movie.

mrdon
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Re: 1970s-West World
mrdon   7/19/2014 5:43:12 PM
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Rob,

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!

Bill21
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Movie robots
Bill21   7/19/2014 10:33:10 AM
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I'll be back

Elizabeth M
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K-9?
Elizabeth M   7/21/2014 5:03:13 AM
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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!

Rob Spiegel
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Re: K-9?
Rob Spiegel   7/21/2014 6:39:12 AM
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Hi Elizabeth, What era was K-9? Does it go back to the 60s? Maybe it will show up in one of the slide shows that cover decades after the 60s.

Ralphy Boy
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Re: K-9?
Ralphy Boy   7/23/2014 12:19:49 AM
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Nice list Rob...

Yeah Liz...

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.

Elizabeth M
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Re: K-9?
Elizabeth M   7/28/2014 8:18:27 AM
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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.

William K.
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Re: K-9?
William K.   7/28/2014 9:29:54 PM
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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.

Cabe Atwell
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Re: Forbidden's Robby, & Lost in Space
Cabe Atwell   7/22/2014 2:59:37 PM
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Rob,

Time for robots from the 70s & 80s yet? The hayday of TV robots!

Short Circuit!

C

Rob Spiegel
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Re: Forbidden's Robby, & Lost in Space
Rob Spiegel   7/22/2014 3:03:03 PM
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Hey Cabe, The 70s robots slideshow ran today. 80s are coming next week. Surprisingly, robots were not big on TV in the 70s, but they broke through huge on the silver screen.

tthomas
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Re: Forbidden's Robby, & Lost in Space
tthomas   7/23/2014 9:33:53 AM
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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].

T. Thomas

AnandY
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Re: Amazing robots
AnandY   7/28/2014 10:58:42 AM
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@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!

frares
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8-Man
frares   7/28/2014 11:40:46 AM
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Did anyone see this?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/8_Man

LRomeo
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Gigantor!
LRomeo   8/7/2014 4:00:06 PM
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How could you have Astro Boy and miss Gigantor?

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