Does anybody else happen to love this damn robot? No, not the beloved old robot from the original television series—I’m talking about the fresh, bad-ass (new) Robot from 1998′s often yawned at Lost In Space movie! Whether the movie was hated or not, everyone agrees—this robot was the best part!
Found only in the Lost In Space feature film, (which currently sits at a whopping 26% at RottenTomatoes), there are surprisingly very little in terms of resources, photos, and anything else on the design of the robot. I spent many nights scouring the depths of the web in search for high quality photos and other details but it always turns out useless. I hope this post can someday help people looking for resources on the robot’s design and development for the feature film.
Here’s what I’ve found.
Voiced by Dick Tufeld in both the original television series and the more recent film, the Robot is sometimes called “B9″ and was re-designed for the feature film—though after being badly damaged on screen, it is rebuilt to look a modernized version of the original robot.
After searching the depths of the internet, I have only come across a few resources for more information on the development of the robot. The first source comes from Micromagic Systems, who create robots and animatronics for use in films. They were one of the teams to build the two completely functional “B9′s” used on screen and provide a fairly descriptive write up of the cumbersome process. They were built in 1997 by Jim Henson’s Creature Shop.
Here’s an excerpt from their write up:
“B9 was a beautiful piece of engineering once complete. Being primarily hydraulic, B9 moved virtually silent, could apply 1 ton of force between its fists, and with a 1000W 24V motor in each track it could get up to a fair speed. When (one) stood next to B9 it had a real presence, which I feel was completely lost in the movie. However, if you read most reviews of the movie it was not the only detail lost!”
You can check out all the information over at Micromagic’s website.
The second is source I found is simply a photo (pictured below) that comes from FlintLockPrivateer over on DeviantArt. It appears that this particular robot may not be one of the models used on screen and instead was just an (expensive) promotional tool.
Here’s what he had to say about it:
“9 foot tall animatronic robot I sculpted while working with a company called Creative Arts in 1998. It was made for FAO Schwartz, New York for a visual merchandising display. Polystyrene and urethane foam with a steel frame.”
All other sources found of the robot are either photos of the toys or models that came out with the film’s release, and there is an unusually small number of works based upon this particular design as well, of course overshadowed by the original Lost In Space robot design.
Here are some photos I’ve hunted down in my “research”!
As a parting gift, I present you with the Robot’s last stand.
Robot’s Last Stand
If you have any more information on this epic design, please let me know.