Jul 17, 2013

League Post - Robots!

League of Extraordinary Bloggers

The League of Extraordinary Bloggers wants to say "Dōmo arigatō" to this weeks topic:


This is another one of those general topics that I could probably do a post a day on for a couple of weeks and still not cover everything I want to mention. I'm going to try and limit myself to the bots of my childhood.

My first exposure to robots, that I can remember, was seeing Star Wars when I was a kid. I had a book called The Star Wars Album that tells the story and covers a lot of things that influenced the movie. Of course there is a section on robots/androids. Ten bonus points if you can i.d. the still in the lower right and an extra point if you know why it's relevant here.

Image from ioffer, but don't buy there. It's too expensive!
R2 and 3P0 may have been the cyber-stars but when I got my action figures, I guess I was all hipster-y with not caring so much about the main characters. It was all about these guys:

Star Wars R5-D4 action figure 1978 adStar Wars Power Droid action figure 1978 ad

Why? I couldn't tell you. I do remember taking R5 to the aquarium one time and having a red helium balloon that I tied him to to try and get him to fly. As for Power Droid, you wouldn't think a kid would be excited about a box on legs, but I was!

Then came the original BSG with perpetually shiny Cylon Centurions. The were about as effective as Stormtroopers (at the time we didn't know if they might be robots too) but I have to give it up for the Cylons. Their voice is more menacing, the armor is cooler and dat eye. Daggit? No, it doesn't rank on my list.

The next wave of robots came via Disney's first PG flick: The Black Hole.

V.I.N.CENT and Old B.O.B. were kinda cool but Maximilian was a silent, stone cold murder machine! And of course the STAR soldiers with their sweet double barrel laser guns. They even had their own bad-ass commander in black: the STAR Captain. Ok, I guess if you get out-shot by an older model robot, you're probably not so bad-ass.

At some point I discovered Doctor Who on PBS, which could be the subject of dozens of robot posts all on its own. There's the iconic Cybermen (which get an upgrade every series) and the alive on the indside, but still emotionless Daleks (which have changed very little in the past 50 years) but the robots that stands out in my kid brain from way back then are the Sandminer Robots.

Could they have influenced the Mr. Roboto robot design below?
Sidenote: I was seriously into Kilroy Was Here's story when it came out.

Alright, I think I've gone on way too long about my mechanical friends but I can't stop yet! There's one more classic that I have to mention before I go...

Robby the Robot!

Aside from the awesomeness that is Forbidden Planet, Robby has appeared in a number of other movies and TV shows. How many other robots have their own IMDB page?
He is the robot that epitomizes what I love about classic sci-fi.

As I was winding this down I thought "Oh! I didn't include Grendizer, Gaiking or the other Force Five robots!" But I'm giving myself a loophole as they require a pilot and are not autonomous. Yes, I know, technically Daleks fit this too.

Honorable Mentions
Trans-Formers (strictly G1, baby!)
Twiki & Dr. Theopolis
Evil Otto from the video game Berzerk

Other League members doin the robot this week
The Goodwill Geek has a small army
The Hitachi-Bot is at Branded in the 80s
Cavalcade of Awesome matches wits with the Robonic Stooges


  1. Excellent post! Love some of the robots you featured here actually. What a weird resemblance between Mr. Roboto and the Sandminers! I wasn't very familiar with either designs, though I've heard of both in passing.

    1. Not to be robo-racist but the Roboto looks like it could be the Eastern cousin of the Sandminer.