Robbie the Robot Started Out Life as a Washing Machine

And other bizarre sources of inspiration for sci fi.

Apparently, the idea for the T-1000 came from eating hot fudge sundaes.

This reminds me of the “In the future” piece supposedly written by a turn of the (twentieth) century writer who speculated that one day coal powered robots would do such household chores as chopping wood.

Pretty well known of course, but I still like the inspiration for the name HAL in 2001 (which if anybody doesn’t know is IBM minus one letter each; Anthony Hopkins based Lecter’s voice partly on HAL’s).

IIRC, the inspiration for R2D2 was a keg of beer on a wheeled dolly.

Both Kubrick and Clarke have denied this, saying that it was just a coincidence and that they were surprised when someone mentioned it to them.

Who are you going to trust- Kubrick and Clarke or sci-fi magazines? Kubrick and Clarke are obviously on drugs (as evidenced by the fact they made/wrote 2001) so I’m going with the experts.

Robbie the Robot Started Out Life as a Washing Machine

Danger, Will Robinson! Colors have been mixed with whites!

I must find fault with both io9 and Bytegeist- although they were designed by the same person, Robby the Robot and the Lost in Space robot are not the same robot. Robby has a dome-shaped head, humanoid arms, and two feet. The Lost in Space robot has a donut-shaped head, hook arms, and wheels.

You just blew Best-Post-Of-The-Week for Bytegeist. I hope you are happy with yourself.


True — but both models have the same direct-inject wash system with Care Control™ temperature management, stainless steel wash basket, and 3-tray detergent, bleach, and fabric softener dispensers.


Back to reality…

Gene Roddenberry’s inspiration for the early Next Gen phasers was a Black and Decker Dustbuster vacuum cleaner.

George Lucas saw giant cargo cranes at the Port of Oakland and visualized the AT-AT walkers.

Mike Okuda says on one of the Trek disc interviews that Geordi LaForge’s VISOR design was inspired by his wife’s barrette.

Sir Rhosis

Robby did make two guest appearances on Lost In Space, though.

Which probably weren’t credited as guest appearances, but in geek terms that’s pretty much what it was.

Yeah, but could Robot mass-produce moonshine out of a slot in his front, like Robby?

Sort of like bathtub gin …

This works in reverse as well once in a while. Apparently within the last 10 years or so in Britain, a particular model refuse bin for garden / lawn clippings has earned the nickname “garden Dalek” because of its’ resemblance to the Doctor Who monster.

Great save!

I don’t suppose it’s news to anybody that Dr. McCoy’s medical sensor began life as a salt shaker.

ETA: I want a garden dalek.


I probably misquote, it’s been a while since I saw Forbidden Planet.

The comlink used by Qui-Gon Jinn in Star Wars: Episode I is actually a Gillette women’s razor.

Uh, that was Robby. “Robot” refers to the robot in Lost in Space, whose full name (“Robot B9”) is rarely used and who was never observed to manufacture booze.

The helmets of the Cylon suits used in the original Battlestar Galactica are chrome plated Westinghouse toasters.

Uh, yes but you should be chiding Elvis and not, uh, me. :slight_smile:

They were on at least one LiS episode together tho.