Is the Robot Hall of Fame Dissing TV?

What? You never heard of the Robot Hall of Fame?

Shame, shame, shame…

(Sorry, we liked the rhyme. And the song too. And…)

Until the Lost in Space robot is inducted, Carnegie Mellon’s Robot Hall of Fame is a pathetic sham – by Christopher Nerney

When will these babbling bumpkins and preening popinjays honor the noble B-9?

The Robot Hall of Fame in Pittsburgh inducted four new members on Tuesday, but the real news — at least in my opinion — is the continued snubbing of a small-screen legend: Robot B-9 of the 1960s television show Lost in Space.

The Hall of Fame was created in 2003 by the folks at Carnegie Mellon University, one of the world’s leaders in robotics technology. Inductees can be either real-life robots or fictional robots from the world of entertainment.

Rather than induct robots every year, Carnegie Mellon apparently does so when it feels like it. Robots were named to the Hall in 2003, 2004, 2006, 2008, 2010 and this year.

This year’s inductees are WALL-E, star of the 2008 animated film, and three real-life robots. This brings the total number of Robot Hall of Fame members to 27.

Of those 27, a dozen are fictional robots, and one of them isn’t even a robot! That’s HAL 9000, the computer system from 2001: A Space Odyssey. Since when is a computer a robot? I’m typing this on an Asus laptop, not an Asus robot.

I’m not saying there aren’t any worthy fictional robots in the Hall of Fame. R2-D2 and C-3PO from Star Wars are no-brainers. And Gort from The Day the Earth Stood Still is iconic. (Fun fact: I knew Julian Blaustein, the producer of that 1951 sci-fi classic.)

But Robby the Robot? Seriously? That bucket of bolts? The Lost in Space robot vanquished him in “War of the Robots” (Episode 20, Season 1).

Huey, Dewey and Louie from the 1972 film Silent Running? They’re named after ducks, for pete’s sake!

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And let the cry go out throughout the land: Christopher Nerney, you are an extraordinary writer! TVWriter™ salutes you, sir. Now get thee out of IT and into something respectable like, oh, how about comics?

2 thoughts on “Is the Robot Hall of Fame Dissing TV?”

  1. The B-9 (though I’ve never heard it called that before) does deserve a place in the Robot Hall of Fame, but that doesn’t mean this writer has to dis Robby. Lost in Space clearly based the design on Robby. Now, if they inducted Johnny 5, I would definitely question the Hall of Fame’s judgement.

    1. I just looked at the video. They DID induct Johnny 5. Didn’t they see the sequel? It was awful. Anyway, the Lost in Space robot needs to be in there.

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