Danger Will Robinson! I have your Robot!
I've always been a Science-Fiction fan. I grew up watching Star Trek, Twilight Zone and of course, Lost in Space. Lost in Space was a favorite because Will Robinson, who was just a kid, had his very own robot. It was actually the entire crews' robot but it was Will's buddy. The robot was a friend, a companion and a paternal figure. They always wandered off together getting into mischief or peril. Being a child in the 60's, I wanted my own robot. I fed my Sci-Fi appetite comic books and movies as I grew up. One year for Halloween, I even made a robot costume, and took 3rd place at the local fire house costume contest. But a robot made out of cardboard was not enough. I needed something bigger and better. Not just a costume but a real robot, one like Will's. I took electronics in high school and went on to become an electrical engineer. I got married and had a family. Several years went by, the internet grew and electronic components got smaller and more powerful. I was always tinkering with electronics in my spare time, making small projects and gadgets, but I still had that urge deep down in my gut to actually build a robot. Not just any robot but the B9 Robot. The robot from Lost in Space.
I subscribed to the "Toy Shop" a monthly newspaper (a now defunct publication) that featured classified ads for all types of collectible toys. One month in the early 90's I noticed an ad in the back stating "Build your own Lost in Space Robot". They were selling the B9 Robot Torso and promised more parts. I never sent away for information but I always remembered that ad. Years later in the late 90's, while surfing the internet I began the search. This was back when the internet was no more than plain looking web pages with those over-used animated gif's. What I was surprised to find was a small group of people who had banded together with a common goal, to build their own Lost in Space robot, the B9 Robot. I was hooked. I did months of research on what drawings were available and what parts people were making themselves or buying from others. I contacted someone who had a torso mold made from the original robot and placed my order.
I then sat the family down on the couch and announced my intentions of building my own Lost in Space Robot. I showed them the binder of B9 Robot drawings and material I had collected and told them that a torso was on the way.
The UPS guy had just delivered my B9 Robot Torso, so I was committed to the project. Well, it was actually my wife that thought I should be committed. It seemed like such a big project, but with all the info and resources available and help from other Lost in Space fans, I figured that I could handle it. It was a challenge to see how accurate it could be, without breaking the bank. While it wouldn't be accurate down to the last screw, I believed I can conjure up a reasonable likeness that will be recognizable to most fans of the series.
I'm an Electrical Engineer, so I knew I could handle the electronics. It was the mechanical aspects of building the B9 that would challenge me. I chronicled my progress on these web pages with continuous updates of my progress. Click on the different sections and follow the progress of how I built my B9 Robot.