There have been several famous robots featured in films and television over the years: Maria, the female robot in the German silent classic Metropolis (1926), Gort from the original The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951), B-9 from the 1960ís television series Lost in Space and C-3PO and R2-D2 in Stars Wars (1977). Arguably the most famous movie and television robot is Robby the Robot who made his film debut in the Sci-Fi classic Forbidden Planet (1956).
After Forbidden Planet, Robby appeared in a less popular B-movie called The Invisible Boy (1957). He made several more appearances in other films and television shows over the next few decades. While Robby's appearance was generally consistent, there were notable exceptions, such as the 1962 Twilight Zone episode "Uncle Simon", where he was given a somewhat more human "face". At other times, Robby usually retained the working gears inside his bubble head, although the details of his "brain" and chest panel were sometimes altered. Robby has made few television or film appearances since the 1970s. In 2006, he was featured in a commercial for AT&T. His last appearance was in a 2009 episode of Futurama.
Robby walked on mechanical legs. Later models by his principal designer Robert Kinoshita, such as Robot B-9 of Lost in Space, moved smoothly on motorized treads. In Forbidden Planet, Robby was operated by Frankie Darro from inside the suit and his distinctive voice was provided by actor Marvin Miller.
In 2004, Robby the Robot was inducted into the Robot Hall of Fame. Robby is now owned by film director William Malone.
Facts and General Characteristics of Robby the Robot:
Height: 6' 11"
Weight: Approximately 300 lbs.
Built: 1955 by the MGM prop department.
Facts and General Characteristics of the Model:
Manufacturer: Polar Lights
Height: 7.5" (not including stand)
Hours to build and paint: 6
Detail of Robby's "Brain":
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