Robot B9 - Silver, six-foot tall Model B-9,
Class M-3 environmental control robot
featured on the science fiction adventure LOST IN SPACE/CBS/1965-68.
"Robot" (Serial No. 1A1998) was the generic name given to the B9 robot
by the crew (The Space Family Robinson) of the spacecraft
Jupiter 2 who were sent into space on a mission to the Alpha Centauri galaxy.
The official name of the robot was revealed on the side of a
packing crate on episode "The Time Merchant" which read: "General
On the series' first episode, the robot's circuitry was modified (by Dr.
stowaway) to kill the crew when the ship was launched, but the plan failed.
Robot had retractable arms, a domed-head with twinkling lights, pincher type
hands which could shoot a lethal charge of electricity, and tank-like treads
which conveyed it to and fro. Robot needed eight hours of rest to recharge his
Waving its accordion-pleated arms, the robot often shouted such programmed
phrases as "Warning! Warning!" and
"Danger, Will Robinson, Danger!"
Dr. Smith, the one who unsuccessfully programmed the robot to sabotage the
ship's mission called the Robot a Booby, Bucket of Bolts, Disreputable
Thunderhead, Pot-Bellied Pumpkin, and a Tin-Plated Tattletale.
Cast of Lost in Space with B9 Robot
Bob May, the special effects actor who operated the robot revealed in an
interview (Starlog No. 201 April 1994) that he had all sorts of
difficulties with the Robot shell.
The robot's top which he wore on a parachute style harness weighed 250
pounds; the bottom part that controlled the legs (very difficult to lift)
weighed a little over 100 pounds.
At times, working all the bells, whistles lights and buttons was like "patting
your head and rubbing your stomach at the same time."
There were instances when
he had to "press a button for each syllable of every word I said" to synchronize
with the blinking light that accompanied the robot's voice (provided by
Dick Tufeld who also narrated the series).
He also had to raise the robot's bubble-dome with his own head and turn the
robot's torso 360 degrees.
"Danger! Danger! Will
And, if the robot was shot, he had to "kill the switches, and die...or slump
down if Dr. Smith pulled the robot's power pack - which he did a lot."
May also wore black makeup over his eyes while inside the suit to keep any skin
reflections from being picked up by the cameras.
On the episode "Trip Through The Robot" written by Barner Slater, Will Robinson
(Billy Mumy) and Dr. Smith (Jonathan Harris) crawled inside the robot to fix a
malfunction that caused it to grow to a tremendous size.
The LOST IN SPACE robot was designed by Bob Kinoshita, the creator of
Robby the Robot used in the feature film Forbidden Planet (1956). A new and
improved version of the robot appeared in the 1998 movie remake Lost in Space
starring William Hurt and Mimi Rogers.
TRIVIA NOTE: On the segment "Mystery Island" on
the live-action series THE SKATEBIRDS, the suit for robot B9 was modified to
create a character called
P.O.P.S (voiced by Frank Welker) who crash landed on
a remote island with Chuck, Sue and Sandy. Throughout the series, P.O.P.S was
the obsession of Dr. Strange, an evil scientist on the lived on the island who
planned to used P.O.P.S. as as part of his scheme to conquer the world.
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